This Week – April 15, 2016

This Week in Washington D.C.

  • ACG on Capitol Hill: Your Voice for Clinical GI

ACG Governors Take on Washington D.C.

On Thursday, over 45 ACG Governors met with over 250 members of Congress as part of the 2016 ACG Board of Governors Washington D.C. Fly-in.  The two themes ACG Governors focused on were the illogical and inconsistent policies of trying to increase colorectal cancer screening utilization rates at the same time as cutting reimbursement for these services; and the inability to practice medicine in this environment of lower reimbursement but more red tape and regulatory burdens, such as Meaningful Use.  ACG Governors conveyed real world, clinical examples of how these policies impact patient care and GI practices.

Did you know that?

  • In 2000, the national average Medicare reimbursement rate for colonoscopy was over $250. Now in 2016, reimbursement has been cut to roughly $200.
  • …. Yet it costs CMS over $69,000 to treat a Medicare beneficiary in the first year of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
  • When releasing Meaningful Use regulations, CMS continues to estimate that will cost GI practices $50,000 per provider for EHR start-up costs, $10,000 per provider in annual EHR maintenance costs, and 8 hours in time to successfully meet Meaningful Use health IT and clinical quality reporting objectives.
  • ….. Yet survey data from GI practices demonstrate that these estimates are woefully underestimated. Physician practices spend, on average, 2.6 hours per week and more than $15.4 billion dealing with the reporting of quality measures (Health Affairs; March 2016).  Also, physicians are spending more than 1 hour each day, uncompensated, handling these electronic communications, positioned at the computer instead of facing the patient. (JAMA Internal Medicine; March 2016)

Congress knows that now thanks in part to your ACG Governors.

ACG Governors also conveyed to Members of Congress many of the local and state issues that you have contacted them about.  Thank you ACG Governors for taking time out of your practices and time away from families to advocate for the GI clinician!

GovFlyIn

ACG Governors 2016 Washington D.C. fly-in

MHoKRothfus

Dr. Immanuel Ho, Chair, ACG Board of Governors, with U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA)

SherrodBrown

Drs. David Mangels, Ashley Faulx and Costas Kefalas (Vice Chair, ACG Board of Governors) meet with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

StillmanRyan

Brad Stillman (Executive Director of the American College of Gastroenterology), Tedd Cain, MD FACG (ACG Governor for WI), the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Whit Knapple, MD FACG (ACG Chair, National Affairs Committee and ACG Governor for AR)