This Week – July 11, 2015

This Week in Washington, DC:

From National Affairs Chair Caroll D. Koscheski, MD, FACG

National Affairs - Koscheski .jpgIt was a big week in Washington with Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) unveiling both good and bad news for the GI profession.  While CMS responded to ACG’s and other provider concerns with its decision earlier this week to ease ICD-10 transition with 1-year of flexibility, (Read my full post for details) they hit us on July 8 with the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposed Rule which, if finalized, would drastically cut by 11 percent reimbursement rates for Medicare’s diagnostic colonoscopy base code (45378) and slash other lower GI endoscopy procedures by up to 19 percent.   ACG President Stephen Hanauer, MD, ACG, professed his frustration and disappointment in the following ACG Blog post immediately after the announcement.

From ACG President Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, FACG: Medicare Cuts to Colonoscopy Threaten  Progress Against Colorectal Cancer

National Affairs - Koscheski .jpgI am incredibly frustrated and disappointed. Despite advocacy by ACG and its sister GI societies in the past few years, devastating cuts to reimbursement for lifesaving colonoscopy exams under Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule were proposed July 8, 2015.

I want the GI community in the United States to understand the fundamental lack of fairness which underlies the process that got us to this cut. The process is flawed. The outcome is flawed. Worst of all, we risk a reversal of the progress our nation is making to increase use of colorectal cancer screening by colonoscopy for Medicare beneficiaries, who by virtue of their age, are at higher risk for colorectal cancer. Read my full post 

What You Can Do
Access ACG ICD-10 Guidance
Urge congress to support the SCREEN Act