This Week – October 1, 2016

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • October 1: Important Date for ACG Members
  • ACG Member Call to Action for Massachusetts Members: ASC Determination of Need Proposal Needs to Change
  • ACG Update on Colorectal Cancer Screening Legislation: ACA Impacting State Law and Needs to Change

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

October 1: Important Date for ACG Members

ICD-10 Grace Period Ending

On September 30th, ACG members should note that the grace period for which Medicare will not deny claims based on the wrong ICD-10 codes ends. Beginning October 1, 2016, all claims must include valid ICD-10 codes to the highest level of specificity possible.

Need help?  Please visit the ACG Member ICD-10 Playbook.  This website contains beneficial resources for your use, including Dr. Caroll Koscheski’s recent blog post, which outlines important information to keep in mind as the end for the initial grace period approaches, and the “ICD-9 to ICD-10 Bridge” tool, which allows you to quickly compare any ICD-9 code to its corresponding ICD-10 code(s).  ACG has also compiled a list of handy charts that compares the ICD-9 codes and descriptions to the corresponding ICD-10 codes.  Feel free to print these out for your practice.  ACG has divided these charts into common GI categories.

2016 Meaningful Use First Time Participant Attestation Period Closes

ACG members participating in Meaningful Use for the first time have until October 1, 2016 to attest to any 90-day continuous period in 2016 in order to avoid a payment adjustment in 2017.

Need Help? Please visit the ACG’s guidance on Health IT and Meaningful Use Incentive Programs. Please also visit CMS’ Registration and Attestation user guides.

From ACG’s Governor for Massachusetts, Francis P. MacMillan Jr., MD, FACG

ACG Member Call to Action for Massachusetts Members: ASC Determination of Need Proposal Needs to Change

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recently released a draft regulation that would prohibit freestanding ASC’s from applying for any Determination of Need (DoN) for any purpose unless the ASC is affiliated with or in a joint venture with an acute care hospital.  The recent proposal does, however, eliminate a moratorium on ASCs that has been in place since 1994.

ACG has joined the Massachusetts state GI and ASC societies as well as the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association to revise this unfair proposal.  We need your help by taking these easy steps: view the instructions on the full blog here.

From ACG’s Governor for Northern California, Neil H. Stollman, MD, FACG

ACG Update on Colorectal Cancer Screening Legislation: ACA Impacting State Law and Needs to Change

As ACG has updated you in the past, ACG is working with the GI societies and local advocacy groups to pass a California law prohibiting cost-sharing for a screening colonoscopy turning therapeutic, as well as when a patient undergoes a diagnostic colonoscopy subsequent to another colorectal cancer screening test.

The “Health Care Coverage: Colorectal Cancer Screening and Testing (AB 1763)” was introduced by CA State Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson.  ACG has endorsed the bill, as it shares the College’s goals of removing the financial and structural barriers associated with lifesaving colorectal cancer screenings throughout the screening continuum.

This legislation passed both the General Assembly and the CA State Senate.  However, Gov. Brown surprised all advocates by vetoing the bill.

“The bill imposes no cost sharing mandate on health plans and insurance policies for colorectal cancer services that exceeds the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act.

I understand the importance of preventive health care services, and in particular, screening for various types of cancer.  I believe, however, the cost sharing rules for those services as set in the Affordable Care Act are sufficient.”

This veto is counter to patient care, improving colorectal cancer screening utilization rates in California, and ultimately, to logic.  Please let Gov. Brown how much this decision impacts his constituents and our patients.  Read the veto statement here.  Contact the Governor’s office here.  ACG will continue to fight for this bill on behalf of ACG members and your patients.

This is why Congress needs to pass the SCREEN Act and Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act this year.  We need your help.  Read the full blog here.