This Week – May 19, 2018

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • Don’t miss in the latest issue of the ACG Magazine: ACG Governors Fly-in and Important Practice Management Tips for ACG Members
  • Busy Week on Drug Costs and Pricing: Data on Popular Drugs in GI
  • MACRA Tidbit for the Week: ACG’s Quality Reporting Checklist

Don’t miss in the latest issue of the ACG Magazine:
ACG Governors Fly-in and Important Practice Management Tips for ACG Members

The latest issue of the ACG magazine is out! Some noteworthy articles include a summary and pictures from the 2018 ACG Board of Governors Washington D.C. meeting, where over 50 ACG Governors and members of the ACG Leadership embarked on Capitol Hill to meet with over 250 legislators to advocate on your behalf, bringing light to the important issues impacting your practice and your patients.

The latest edition also includes important practice management tips.  Including:

The cover story for this issue is a Q&A with Dr. Steve Bensen and Dr. Frederick Makrauer regarding their amazing efforts to build GI care and training in Rwanda, as the country lost a significant portion of its healthcare professionals in the 1994 genocide.

Click here to check out the cover story and other great articles!


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

Busy Week on Drug Costs and Pricing: Data on Popular Drugs in GI

On Tuesday, CMS updated its drug pricing dashboard, designed to provide a summary of drug costs and price increases in Medicare.  The Obama Administration officials created this dashboard in 2015.

How does GI look?

ACG has compiled some data on popular GI drugs in Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D: check it out here.

Prescription drugs and drug costs continue to be a very hot topic in Washington D.C. and across the nation this week, as:

  • On Thursday, the FDA released a list of more than 40 companies that have potentially been blocking generic versions of their products from reaching the market.
  • Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar announced that HHS may shift all physician-administered drugs in Medicare Part B over to Medicare Part D.
  • CMS announced that the agency is notifying all Part D plans this week, voicing opposition to “pharmacy gag clauses,” which prevents pharmacists from telling customers when they could save money on a medicine by not going through their insurer.
  • On Wednesday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation into law making Vermont the first state to legalize importing prescription drugs from Canada.
  • Last week, ACG provided a summary of President Trump’s plan to lower drug costs. This week, in the U.S.House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated that he expects Congress to act on President Trump’s plan, as well as the CREATES Act (HR 2212; S. 974), which aims to restrict brand companies to use FDA safety programs to block generic competition.

ACG is monitoring all of these issues for membership, advocating on behalf of clinical GI and our patients.

ACG’s Quality Reporting Checklist

The MIPS’ Quality performance category represents 50% of your total MIPS score in 2018.  Therefore, it is important that you understand what you need to do in order to achieve the maximum number of points in this category.  Successfully participating in the Quality performance category would at the very least help you avoid any Medicare Part B reimbursement cut in CY 2020.

ACG members are encouraged to the use ACG’s updated Quality Reporting Checklist for some practical and basic guidance.  The checklist walks you through the basics, and outlines what you need to be mindful of when selecting and reporting MIPS quality measures in 2018.

Did you miss other MACRA tidbits on the Quality performance category?  Click here to read an explanation of how your MIPS’ Quality performance category scores are determined, and ultimately converted into an overall MIPS score.