This Week – December 17, 2016

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • From ACG President Carol Burke: Unanswered Questions Abound: ABIM’s News on MOC
  • ACG-FDA Visiting Fellowship Program: Dr. Kendall Beck’s Experience at the FDA
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ Lowering Professional Fees for GI Services
  • MACRA Tidbit for the Week: Where do I actually review measures and attest to MIPS categories?

From ACG President Carol A. Burke, MD, FACG

Unanswered Questions Abound: ABIM’s News on MOC

This week the ABIM announced that, beginning in 2018, physicians certified in Internal Medicine can choose to take an every-two-year secured recertification examination for Maintenance of Certification in lieu of the 10-year exam. The timing and format for any alternatives to the 10-year recertification examination for specialists are not known.

The new pathway presented by the ABIM appears to fall short of the principles the College has consistently outlined to the ABIM in terms of MOC, based on the information available. The ABIM shrouds the reality of an every-two-year secured examination option as a “knowledge check-in” and a “low-stakes” assessment.

Call it like it is: an option for a more frequent, secured, high-stakes, consequential examination that has no strong evidence of proven value to diplomates or our patients.

Read the full blog here.

ACG-FDA Visiting Fellowship Program: Dr. Kendall Beck’s Experience at the FDA

In October of 2016, Kendall Beck completed a one month rotation with the FDA’s Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products (DGIEP) division through ACG’s Visiting Fellowship Program.  Dr. Beck, a third year fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), was chosen by the ACG’s FDA Related Matters Committee last year at our annual meeting in Hawaii.  Selected fellows then work with their respective program directors, the FDA, and ACG to find a suitable month to be at the FDA as well as a tailored curriculum for that month.

About the Fellowship
The goal of the program is to allow the selected candidate an opportunity to integrate into the daily activities at the FDA, and gain first-hand knowledge and valuable experience in the drug and device approval process. The candidate, a second or third year fellow, is vetted and chosen by ACG’s FDA Related Matters Committee. The College provides a stipend for travel and daily living expenses for a one-month rotation at the FDA.  Upon completion of the rotation, the selected-fellow presents his or her experiences at the following ACG Annual Scientific Meeting.

More information about the fellowship can be found on the ACG website. (Submissions are currently closed at this time, but please stay tuned in 2017 for the next application cycle.)

To read Dr. Beck’s summary of her experience, read the full blog here.

From ACG Governor for New Jersey, John J. Santoro, D.O., FACG

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ Lowering Professional Fees for GI Services

ACG has partnered with the State Medical Society of New Jersey in opposing a recent Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield site of service policy change for many GI procedures.  This policy change became effective December 1, 2016 and would lower professional fees for many GI services.  Yet, according to some ACG members and the State Medical Society of New Jersey, this change seems to have been implemented without the requisite due process and notification requirements under state law.  ACG is requesting that Horizon reconsider this policy change.  ACG is working on behalf of its NJ members and will provide updates as we move forward.

NJ Members: please complete this survey administered by the State Medical Society of New Jersey.

All ACG Members: Remember to contact your ACG Governor on important state and local issues impacting you and your practice.

Read the full blog here.


Where do I actually review measures and attest to MIPS categories?

In short, you can go to ACG’s MACRA website.

Many ACG members have asked about the measures of the various performance categories and where they need to go to attest to MIPS categories in 2017, including the Improvement Activities and certain Advancing Care Information activities.

ACG’s MACRA website not only hosts the various MIPS and APM requirements, and payment updates, but also lists each measure and activity you can choose to report.  This includes the MIPS Quality Category, the Improvement Activities Category, as well as the Advancing Care Information Category.

After you have the opportunity to review, ACG’s MACRA website also links to the CMS attestation website (see: “MIPS Attestation and More Information” option).   Steps to attest:

  1. Go to ACG’s MACRA website or directly to CMS’ website here.
  2. Click on the MIPS performance category.
  3. Click on the individual measure within that MIPS performance category.You will then be able to attest that measure. Please note that this attestation function is not yet up and running on the CMS site. 

In the coming days, ACG will be striving to make this as easy as possible for GI practices to participate in MIPS.  Please stayed tuned.