This Week – April 7, 2011

This Week in Washington DC:

  1. Senate Approves Measure Repealing IRS 1099 Provision
  2. ACO Regulation Summary

Congress Passes IRS 1099 Provision
The Senate cleared legislation on Tuesday that removes an unpopular tax reporting requirement from last year’s health care reform law.

The 87-12 vote marks the first major change to the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act and a victory for Republicans, who have repeatedly sought to scale back or repeal it. This provision, however, was unpopular among many Democrats as well. The House passed it last month, 314-112, with 76 Democrats backing it.

The 1099 provision requires all businesses, including physician practices, to report all purchases of $600 or more to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The legislation would cover the $22 billion cost of the 1099 repeal by requiring some people, if their income level increases during the year, to pay back a portion of the subsidies they receive to join health insurance exchanges created under the law.

CMS Releases ACO Regulation
On Thursday, March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long awaited “Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) Proposed Rule.” Initially established by Section 3302 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress intended for ACOs to encourage health care providers and suppliers to work together to improve patient care and produce cost savings. CMS did not propose to include specialty based ACOs but specialists may be members of multiple ACOs. ACO participants will share in any cost savings below a determined benchmark figure. The Agency notes, however, that ACOs will also be responsible to repay any costs above this benchmark figure.

The College is currently reviewing the regulation to measure its potential impact on the GI clinician and will continue to update membership. However, please click here to access a detailed summary of the proposed ACO regulation.

Please stay tuned for further updates. Please also share and discuss your thoughts with fellow ACG members on the ACG GI Circle. To login and share your comments, visit www.acg-gi-circle.within3.com. If you have not yet activated your ACG GI Circle account, please email us at acgcirclefeedback@within3.com.

Contact Brad Conway, VP Public Policy, with any questions or for more information.

Brad Conway
bconway@acg.gi.org
301.263.9000