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By Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins, MD, CHCQM-PHYADV, FABQAURP
President, American College of Physician Advisors
Physician Advisor for Case Management, Utilization, and Clinical Documentation, ProHealth Care, Inc.

The American College of Physician Advisors (ACPA) has been in existence for seven years, but 2021 marks the first year of collaboration with the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). Formed in 2014, the ACPA is the only non-profit, physician-led organization supporting physician advisors, case management leaders and other hospital and health system directors across the country.

Over the past number of years, the ACPA has produced and hosted educational presentations in live and virtual formats, published articles, presented advisory papers and offered regulatory reviews for the benefit of many different roles involved in hospital case management. Physician advisors go by many different titles, but key to much of the role’s focus and success involves a dynamic and closely cultivated relationship with our case/utilization management teams. 

From concepts integral to optimizing transitions of care, to process improvement involving discharge planning, to identifying opportunities within the scope of appropriate utilization of hospital services, physician advisors depend on the insight provided by nurses and social workers involved in case management. Like them, physician advisors know there are endless projects to tackle and opportunities to uncover. Lessons learned along the way can help countless others in their own health systems and with this intent, ACPA looks forward to participating in future joint efforts with CMSA!

This October 18 – 20, ACPA is hosting their annual National Physician Advisor Conference (NPAC). “Multifaceted: Advising in An Unconventional World” will equip new and existing physician advisors, leaders in case management and clinical documentation integrity, revenue cycle professionals, c-suite leaders and others with novel approaches to navigate their unique healthcare systems during unprecedented times. Scheduled speakers include outstanding thought leaders and nationally recognized authorities involved in regulatory affairs and medical necessity screening procedures, including Dr. Mary McLaughlin-Davis, Senior Director of Care Management at Cleveland Clinic, Vice-Chair of the ACPA Advisory Board, and National CMSA president from 2016 – 2018.

Participants can earn up to 26 Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) hours or AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ hours while networking virtually with other leaders in the field through one-on-one meet-ups or interactive sessions such as Regional Networking Lunches via a state-of-the-art interactive platform. The event will include topic-based tracks including COVID-19, Pediatrics, and Professional Leadership; a mixture of 30-minute “Quick Hit” sessions and 60-minute plenaries with live chat Q&A with the speakers; and specialized, live presentations including an Observation Case Discussion Panel, a Jeopardy-style session, and an expert panel moderated by the incomparable Dr. Ronald Hirsch. 

Registration for NPAC 2021 – “Multifaceted: Advising in An Unconventional World” is now open.  For more information about the conference or ACPA, visit


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