The annual meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP) was held from April 11 to 13 in Philadelphia and attracted more than 6,000 participants from around the world, including internists, adult medicine specialists, subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals. The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illnesses in adults with presentations focusing on updates in neurology, oncology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, and cardiology.
During the conference, the ACP launched a new quality improvement (QI) program -- called ACP Advance -- that includes physician-led coaching and a QI curriculum to aid physicians in enhancing patient care.
"ACP Advance, a new portfolio of resources, includes a series of online modules designed to demystify and make QI more accessible for practicing clinicians and a virtual coaching service by expert physician QI coaches. Both activities offer continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credits," said Cynthia "Daisy" Smith, M.D., vice president of Clinical Programs at the ACP in Washington, D.C. "In order for QI to be meaningful and sustainable it must engage and empower physicians and their teams by meeting them where they are and asking them to choose what they want to work on. ACP Advance has the potential to increase meaning and professional fulfillment for clinicians and patients and improve patient outcomes in a sustainable way."
The ACP also held a panel discussion focusing on health policy issues currently being discussed in Washington and how these issues may impact clinical practice patterns, patients, and clinical practitioners.
"This spring we have seen the release of two major proposed rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) that address the use of health information technology in physician offices, with a significant focus on improving interoperability and reducing information blocking in order to increase consumer access to their electronic health record (EHR)," said Shari Erickson, M.P.H., the vice president of Governmental Affairs and Medical Practice at the ACP.
These rules lay out some potentially positive changes that address several issues for which the ACP has been advocating during the past several years, according to Erickson. The first requires EHR vendors to adopt modern health care interoperability resource standards and standards-based application programming interfaces. These standards will allow physicians to more easily share patient electronic health information with other clinicians and with their patients. In addition, the second rule removes vendor gag clauses from contracts that limit physicians from sharing concerns about health information technology safety and usability. The third change, according to Erickson, allows patients to have access to their historical claims and clinical data, even as they transition from payer to payer.
"However, these changes, if finalized, do need to be implemented with care to ensure that physicians get information that is actionable and useful at the point of care, rather than an overwhelming stream of data; practices, particularly those that are small or in rural areas, are not faced with infeasible timelines and excess costs associated with the upgrades; and patients receive the most accurate possible information in the proper context and with appropriate medical expertise to help interpret it," Erickson explained.
In addition, according to Erickson, the ACP is concerned about the complexity of the proposed information-blocking rules and ensuring the privacy and security of patient information.
"The proposed interoperability and information-blocking rules released by CMS and ONC do contain a number of potentially positive changes, but need to be implemented with care and with appropriate timelines so that physicians do not experience excess burdens or costs," Erickson said.
ACP: Half of Practices Implement Telehealth Technology
TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly half of internal medicine physicians report working in a practice that has telehealth technology, according to the results of a survey released by the American College of Physicians at its annual Internal Medicine Meeting, held from April 11 to 13 in Philadelphia.