Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
Advocacy conference starts Feb. 11 in nation's capital
Hundreds of physicians will converge next week on the nation's capital to help shape the future of health care through the AMA's National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 11–13 at the Grand Hyatt Washington.
The conference empowers physicians to be powerful advocates for their patients and the profession. Attendees will hear from political insiders, industry experts and members of Congress on health system reform refinement and implementation, the impact of fiscal policy on health care, and efforts to combat prescription drug diversion.
Physicians who are unable to attend can follow the conference on Twitter via @AmerMedicalAssn using the #AMAmtg hashtag. Highlights from each day's events also will be posted online.
This year's featured speaker is Chuck Todd, political director and chief White House correspondent for NBC News and host of the Daily Rundown on MSNBC. The master of ceremonies for the Dr. Nathan Davis Awards will be Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC News' Nightline.
Other speakers include Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; David Walker, founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative and former U.S. comptroller general; and Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
View a preliminary agenda for the conference.
Understand your Medicare participation choices
Physicians have until Feb. 15 to make Medicare participation elections for 2013. The AMA's Medicare Participation Kit can help physicians understand their options.
In addition to participation (often referred to as "PAR") and non-participation (referred to as "non-PAR") election, physicians can choose to opt out of Medicare and privately contract with their patients. Opt-out status can take effect at the beginning of any calendar quarter.
In addition to an informational guide offering detailed explanations of the three Medicare options, the kit includes frequently asked questions and a revenue calculator to help physicians estimate how much their total revenue from seeing Medicare patients would change if they were to switch their status from Medicare PAR to non-PAR.
Sample documents, such as template letters and a phone script, can help physicians communicate any status changes to their Medicare patients, and a sample opt-out affidavit and private contract can help physicians who choose to opt out of the program.