This Week – June 2, 2018

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • ACG on Capitol Hill: ACG Co-Sponsors Medical Foods Advocacy Day
  • CMS Highlights Success of MACRA Year 1: High on Praise, but Short on Details

ACG on Capitol Hill:
ACG Co-Sponsors Medical Foods Advocacy Day

This week, ACG joined the Patients & Providers for Medical Nutrition Equity, a coalition of medical societies and patient advocates, to urge support for the Medical Nutrition Equity Act (S.1194/H.R.2587).  ACG members are well aware of the substantial costs and burdens associated with accessing medically necessary foods for patients.  This bill provides for insurance coverage for medically necessary foods prescribed by physicians for those insurance plans under the federal government’s jurisdiction (Medicare, Medicaid, certain commercial insurance).  This includes medically necessary foods for conditions such as IBD, EoE, foods protein induced enterocolitis syndrome, IgE medicated food allergies, malabsorption due to liver or pancreatic dysfunction, or short bowel syndrome, as well as other inherited metabolic disorders.  Congress passed similar legislation for military families covered under TRICARE back in 2016.

ACG joined families impacted by these issues and other advocates in co-sponsoring a luncheon briefing to better educate Congress on why medically necessary foods are not simply groceries or nutritional supplements, but are crucial to a a patient’s health (and sometimes survival).

ACG thanks the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), and the National PKU Alliance, and others for their leadership in making this important day on Capitol Hill a success.

Click here to urge your support for the Medical Nutrition Equity Act!

From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

CMS Highlights Success of MACRA Year 1: High on Praise, but Short on Details

On Thursday, May 31, CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote on the CMS blog that she was “pleased to announce that 91 percent of all clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participated in the first year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) – exceeding our goal of 90 percent participation.”  CMS also touted its success in:

  • Reducing the number of clinicians that are required to participate giving them more time with their patients, not computers.
  • Adding new bonus points for clinicians who are in small practices, treat complex patients, or use 2015 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) exclusively as a means of promoting the interoperability of health information.
  • Increasing the opportunity for clinicians to earn a positive payment adjustment.
  • Continuing to offer free technical assistance to clinicians in the program.

CMS also noted that under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the agency now has additional authority to continue out gradual implementation of certain requirements for three more years, in order to further reduce burden in areas of MIPS.

High on Praise, but Short on Details: read the full blog here.