This Week – January 7, 2017

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • Important Dates for ACG Members: 2016 Meaningful Use Attestation Period (Jan 3 – Feb 28)
  • ACG Guidance on Moderate Sedation Changes- What do you need to know?
  • Congress Back in Session- ACA Repeal Watch

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

Important Dates for ACG Members: 2016 Meaningful Use Attestation Period (Jan 3 – Feb 28)

CMS announced that the attestation period for the 2016 reporting year is now open for those ACG members who have participated in the 2016 Medicare Meaningful Use Program.  The attestation period will end on Feb. 28.  Providers must attest by the deadline to avoid a 2018 payment adjustment.

CMS has released attestation worksheets as a guide to prepare for reporting for 2016 meaningful use attestation.  Providers can log their meaningful use measures for each objective in the worksheet and use it as a reference when attesting for the Medicare 2016 Meaningful Use Program in CMS’ Registration and Attestation System.

From ACG Practice Management Committee Chair, Michael S. Morelli, MD, CPE, FACG

ACG Guidance on Moderate Sedation Changes- What do you need to know?

As ACG and the GI societies informed you in 2016, CMS announced new changes regarding moderate sedation beginning 2017.  Medicare will now require ACG members to report 2 codes on Medicare claims for endoscopic procedures if you are also administering moderate sedation during the procedure.  If you use an anesthesia professional, you can simply report the procedural code as you have previously done.

Check out ACG’s Moderate Summary and Educational Tool.  ACG has created a summary of these changes and a chart of impacted codes.

Congress Back in Session- ACA Repeal Watch

The 115th Congress kicked off this week with preparation efforts on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (known as the ACA).  The U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) introduced a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget resolution that contains reconciliation instructions to repeal the ACA.  This fiscal 2017 budget resolution provides the instructions and procedural guidance to do this.  The new budget measure charges the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Finance, plus the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees with assembling the details of repealing the ACA by Jan. 27.  The primary objective for this is to trigger a new budgetary reconciliation bill, which will help bypass the normal process of requiring 60-votes before initiating any action on legislation.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence both met separately with congressional leaders to discuss a strategy of the ACA repeal effort as well. President Obama rallied the Democratic repeal opposition while Vice President-elect Pence discussed repeal and replacement options with Republicans.  As ACG discussed after the November 2016 elections, look for Vice President-elect Pence to play a crucial role on Capitol Hill.  He could be the crucial vote needed as President of the U.S. Senate for any contentious legislation.  Pundits also expect him to be the key person on relationship building between the White House and Congress.  For example, Vice President-elect Pence may be assigned the key role in crafting policy and negotiating with Congressional leaders.  He may also be a key bridge between President-elect Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, the House Republican Freedom Caucus, as well as the conduit between the White House and the Democrats.

ACG is already actively engaged in this process on your behalf, as this ACA repeal process also provides an opportunity to further important priorities for clinical GI.