American College of Rheumatology’s “I Need My Rheumatologist Call-in Day” | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

American College of Rheumatology’s “I Need My Rheumatologist Call-in Day”

American College of Rheumatology Organizes a Unique Patient-Physician Call-In Day

This week, I’m in Atlanta attending the American College of Rheumatology’s annual scientific sessions. In the coming days, I’ll report on what I’m learning here about what new treatments are coming and new research on rheumatological diseases. However, today, I’m passing on a message that the ACR has asked me to give to you. They’re asking patients to join doctors in calling a hotline to request that Medicare payments for rheumatologists be reformed. They are urgent in this matter this week because of a scheduled reduction in payments of 23% as of December 1, 2010.

We have not been involved in any political effort in the past and this current effort is non-partisan. Rheumatologists are especially affected by Medicare payment rates because of the large percentage of rheumatology patients who are disabled or older. Rheumatology specialists are some of the lowest paid specialists in the United States and many are unable to care for Medicare patients already because of low reimbursement dollars. Many of them are small businessmen and women and will have to make decisions about how to keep their doors open.

Thanks for reading this unusual post! Please call or email if you agree with the position of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). If you do call, please also repost this on Twitter or Facebook to help spread the word. You can also email this link to friends using the button below to have them call also.

Hotline phone number: 800-833-6354

Amercian College of Rheumatology I need my rheumatologist call-in

“The American College of Rheumatology strongly urges Congress to support legislation revising the Medicare payment methodology to ensure appropriate reimbursement for specialists treating arthritis, rheumatic, and musculoskeletal diseases…” Read more information and links related to the ACR Call-In Day.

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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12 thoughts on “American College of Rheumatology’s “I Need My Rheumatologist Call-in Day”

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  • November 10, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I agree. We can not let this happen. The research funding is already limited. I am not on medicare now and have 100% coverage. When my last doctor left they told me it would be a two year wait in order to be “assigned” another. Drs need to be amply reimbursed. The number of people afflicted is increasing rapidly. If we are unable to get care for RA we will raise all the numbers in the other areas ie: emergency room visits, joint replacements, internal care …… I’m all for the call in!

  • November 10, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I am 49 years old and have had RA most of my life but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 24 years old. I know 1st hand how quickly this disease can progress and if it wasn’t for the fact I was very fortunate to receive Medicade at the onset of the RA, I could be convalescent today! Now after 26 years of chronic pain, I am now in remission. Thanks to years of trial drugs and replacement surgeries, I now have a quality of life. I can’t imagine anybody suffering with this disease and not having insurance to be treated. I hope that this helps with your mission to help other RA patients. Good luck!

    • November 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      I’m always glad to hear a remission story Kelly. Thanks for telling it.

  • November 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Ok, I’ve called my senator. But, can you tell me if it would be more effective to call my congressman? I’m not clear on who is actually implementing this cut.

  • November 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I made three calls over my lunch hour. Thank you for letting us know about the situation. I pray it helps. I drive 115 miles to see my rheumatologist as it is now. Hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.

  • November 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Ok I called the 800 number and it directed me to 3 choices. I chose the white house and left a message

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I contacted my representative. My Senators are out of office, so I’ll call them a day late. My representative is very responsive, and will work on this.

    I’m on Medicare – God help all of us if this doesn’t get taken care of!



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