ACP services satisfy a broad array of internists' needs

The Chair of ACP's Board of Regents fills a guest spot, answering questions about how ACP's many products, programs and services add value to membership.

Editor's Note: Dr. Cutler is Chair, ACP Board of Regents, 2013-2014, and is guest-writing this month's President's Message.

I'm often asked, “What's new at ACP?” My short answer is, “A lot. Just go to the College website and browse the opening page.” But while that response is satisfactory during a quick conversation in an elevator, there are even more programs, products and services available. Consider this admittedly incomplete list of some of the highlights.

Over the past 2 years, ACP members have seen the most dramatic change in the presentation of Annals of Internal Medicine since the journal's inception in 1927. For those who enjoy Annals in its hard-copy version, the twice-monthly issue will remain in the same format that you've been comfortable with for more than a generation.

But those who are looking for a new way to keep up to date with medical literature, new guidelines, clinical reviews, thought leader opinions, and human interest stories should visit Every article, beginning with the most recent publication and going back to July 1, 1927, is only a few keystrokes away. In addition, 2 regular monthly features can supplement your clinical knowledge. The first is In the Clinic, a review of best practices for managing common clinical conditions. The second is ACP Journal Club, which offers reviews of the most clinically relevant and highest-quality new studies from more than 130 journals.

Christine Laine, MD, FACP, Annals' editor-in-chief, and her staff recently released the Annals iPad Edition, which offers the latest research, guidelines, reviews, commentaries, educational material and clinical news. You can read current issues and articles, browse specialty and topic collections, save and share articles using a personal library, watch videos and listen to audio summaries and readings, view CME quizzes and link to MKSAP questions.

ACP JournalWise has a new, mobile-friendly website that helps clinicians stay on top of the medical literature from around the world. You can set up preferences by specialty area, and JournalWise alerts you when important new journal articles are reviewed. The mobile format makes it easy to check in whenever you have a few minutes for reading.

ACP's evidence-based clinical recommendations are available through the ACP Clinical Guidelines mobile app. This free app is available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The app includes recommendations from ACP's Clinical Practice Guidelines, Guidance Statements and Best Practice Advice papers. Users can conveniently access clinical recommendations and rationales, summary tables, algorithms and high-value care advice for all currently active guidelines in an easy-to-read and interactive mobile format.

Are you enrolled in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program? Or are you interested in keeping up with latest developments in clinical medicine? In either case, MKSAP 16 provides the most current and critical information in the core of internal medicine and its subspecialties.

If the MOC exam is in your future, keep in mind that MKSAP 16 has 1,200 exam-like multiple-choice questions and also allows you to earn up to 174 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. The digital version of MKSAP 16 is available on mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android devices and laptops. Answers can be synced with an online account to submit instantly for CME credits, ABIM MOC points, Canadian MOC credits and Australasian continuing professional development credits.

If your practice is ready to move to a new delivery model, such as a patient-centered medical home, the College is ready to help with its new ACP Practice Advisor. This online tool can help practices improve patient care, organization and workflow. It includes modules on all aspects of patient-centered care and an assessment tool that covers the 2011 standards for the National Committee for Quality Assurance as well as those of URAC (formerly known as the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) and The Joint Commission. Several webinars are scheduled for November and December to help internists learn how the ACP Practice Advisor can help. The times and dates are on the College website under the banner heading “Running a Practice.”

For those who teach and are interested in teaching the next generation of internists about high-value care, the College has designed a High Value Care curriculum. This program, jointly developed by Daisy Smith, MD, FACP, of ACP and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, has 6 interactive 1-hour modules based on actual patients and their hospital bills. It enables residents to develop habits using high-value care through a 5-step framework. The modules are designed for flexibility so they can be easily incorporated into the existing conference structure of a residency program.

This summer, ACP launched its new Center for Patient Partnership in Healthcare (CPPH). The center will engage patients, families and patient organizations as partners in designing patient-centered care delivery and in developing educational materials for patients. The CPPH will be guided by an advisory board that is chaired by Phyllis Guze, MD, MACP, immediate past Chair of ACP's Board of Regents. The advisory board will also include 2 representatives from patient organizations, a nurse, a physician assistant and several physicians.

The section of the College's website related to our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., has a new look. Be sure to open the advocacy home page, where you can find an important guide for following the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It's a timeline of important data collection periods, starting points, and deadlines relating to regulatory, payment, educational and delivery system changes and requirements. As an example, you'll be alerted to important dates for meaningful use reporting as well as preparing for implementation of ICD-10.

The advocacy section also has a 10-point summary that describes ACP's recent achievements on behalf of members. If you read nothing else on that webpage, take note that Medicare has decided to pay you and your staff for the work done outside of a face-to-face visit to transition a patient from the hospital to the community setting. This payment is as much as $231 each time you bill for this service under new codes that became effective this year. Because of this and other changes advocated by ACP, internists on average will see their Medicare payments increase by 4% to 5% next year.

Are you interested in sharing your thoughts about a particular topic with other ACP members? If so, the College has created the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) area on the College website. Members can establish the agenda and fuel the dialogue in these private, secure, online discussion forums. Share experiences and questions, inform with creative solutions and ideas and gather with like-minded ACP members. The website is easily found by typing “SIG” (without the quotation marks) into the search box on the ACP website.

Before I end, I would be remiss if I did not remind you that new and exciting things are happening with all of our chapters. If you have not attended an ACP chapter meeting recently, I encourage you to do so. Check the College website for a direct link to your chapter and its local activities. Reach out to your ACP Governor. Let him or her know that you have an interest in learning more about what's happening in your region.

The College will continue to develop programs and services to help you. I encourage you to contact your chapter Governor or me with your ideas.