This Week – April 2, 2016

This Week in Washington, DC

  • ACG Highlights Advocacy Work of Katie Couric on Capitol Hill
  • ACG Members: Utilize ACG’s Practice Management Tools
  • CTG Article on Legal and Regulatory Adverse Actions: How Trouble Could Come to You

Knapple From ACG National Affairs Committee Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Congress Needs to Learn From Katie Couric

This week, ACG shared Katie Couric’s unanticipated journey as a cancer advocate with Congress.  Ms. Couric’s work is the subject of a personal essay published in the American College of Gastroenterology’s “American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG).”  An Unexpected Turn: My Life as a Cancer Advocate

Ms. Couric shares the experience of losing her husband, the lawyer and TV commentator Jay Monahan, at age 42 to colorectal cancer in 1998.  Ms. Couric’s televised colonoscopy in 2000 inspired many Americans to get screened for colorectal cancer. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Peter Cram and colleagues documented the dramatic increase in the number of colonoscopies performed in the months following the broadcast, the so-called “Couric Effect.”

Throughout the month of March, ACG has joined patient advocates on Capitol Hill, highlighting the public health success story of colonoscopies and the importance in increasing screening utilizations rates.  It is also important for Congress and the media to hear this from celebrities who have had the unfortunate experience of having lost a loved one to this largely preventable disease.

ACG will be back:

In April, ACG physicians will again be back on Capitol Hill, specifically advocating for issues important to GI practices.  Congress and CMS consistently need to hear more about the difficulty in maintaining a GI practice in this current environment of lower reimbursement but higher administrative burdens.  Remember to contact your ACG Governor to convey important state and local issues impacting you and your practice.

Is your practice faced with the unfortunate dilemma of potentially limiting Medicare patient volume due to the extraordinary burden of declining reimbursement compounding growing regulatory mandates?  Please reach out to your ACG Governor and share your experiences and the challenges you face.  The ACG Board of Governors is one of the most unique aspects of the College, acting as a two-way conduit between the College leadership and the membership at-large. This helps the College make certain that it is meeting the evolving needs of the membership.  Contact your ACG Governor today.

Have you signed ACG’s petition to reverse Medicare’s cuts to colonoscopy?  Sign it now.  Have your partners and patients sign it, too.  Congress needs to hear how short-sighted policies impact their constituents.

Coding ACG Members: Utilize ACG’s Practice Management Tools

It is ACG’s mission to assist you with your private practice needs.  We host a wealth of practice management materials for members on our website and the ACG Universe, including:

2016 Medicare reimbursement rates and RVUs for GI services
-Guidance on PQRS quality reporting and Meaningful Use that is tailored for GI
GI coding updates
ICD-10 assistance for GI
-As well as other useful practice management tips.

Gavel CTG Article on Legal and Regulatory Adverse Actions: How Trouble Could Come to You

Understanding Legal and Regulatory Adverse Actions

Legal and regulatory issues often receive only brief attention during medical training, given the significant competing curriculum. Medical institutions and insurance companies may educate physicians on potential liability, but the curriculum is designed to focus on the knowledge most important to protect the medical institution and insurance company, rather than the physician. While this will often overlap with protection of the individual, that is not always the case.

Read the full article here.