This Week – March 5, 2016

This Week in Washington, DC

  • March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: ACG Urges Vice President Biden to Help Spread Awareness
  • At the State and Local Level: ACG to Help Eliminate Connecticut ASC Tax
  • ACG, AGA, and ASGE Release 2016 CPT Coding Guidance

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

ACG Urges Vice President Biden to Promote the “80% by 2018” Campaign

On Monday, March 1st, ACG urged Vice President Joe Biden to promote National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month as well as the multi-stakeholder effort to have 80% of the eligible U.S. population screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. During the January 2016 State of the Union address, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with leading an increased effort to cure cancer. This “cancer moonshot” initiative is a laudable goal. One way our country can help achieve this goal is to support efforts that actually prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.

Thus, ACG President Kenneth DeVault, MD, FACG and I called upon U.S. Vice President Biden to promote colorectal cancer screening throughout the month of March 2016.

Nestler.jpgFrom ACG Governor for Connecticut, Jeffry L. Nestler, MD, FACG

ACG Partnering with Connecticut State Society Efforts to Eliminate ASC Tax

In late 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed 11th-hour legislation at the close of the session that included a 6% gross receipts tax on ambulatory surgery centers.  ACG has partnered with Connecticut state societies in an effort to repeal this tax, including personally meeting with Connecticut elected officials over the past week.  Fortunately, a bill was recently introduced to phase out this unwarranted tax.  The ASC Tax phase out bill (HB 5493) reduces the tax by 2%, beginning October 1, 2016, until it is phased out on October 1, 2018.

I urge ACG members in Connecticut to voice your support for this bill.

Take These Simple Steps:

  1. Submit testimony in support of the bill.  The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will have a hearing on March 9th.  Email:
  2. Urge CT state legislators to support HB 5493.  Tell them that ASCs allow patients to access care quickly, easily and cost-effectively.  These facilities have enabled providers to remain in independent practice, something the Connecticut General Assembly has identified as critical to the state’s health care delivery system.  In one year alone, Connecticut patients saved more than $1 million in health insurance co-pays by electing to have colonoscopies in ASCs rather than more costly hospital outpatient departments. (Based on an analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2012 data).
  3. Urge your fellow ACG colleagues in Connecticut to do the same.

National Affairs - Knapple .jpg ACG, AGA, and ASGE Release 2016 CPT Coding Guidance

ACG and the GI societies work closely together to ensure that members are made aware of, and prepared for, coding and reimbursement related changes occurring each year. For 2016, there were several changes to Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT) codes for gastroenterology services.  The society advisors continuously work through the coding process to revise and add new codes as appropriate.

Please review the 2016 CPT Coding Manual Update developed by the societies.