This Week – September 5, 2015

This Week in Washington, DC

Hanauer.jpgStop the Bleeding! Deadline Looms to Fix the Cuts

 From ACG President Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, FACG

Earlier this summer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed drastic cuts to the 2016 Medicare physician reimbursement rates for colonoscopy and other lower GI endoscopy procedures. ACG, AGA and ASGE are fighting for fair and accurate reimbursement for all lower endoscopy procedures, including colonoscopy.

Under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule, physician work values for colonoscopy procedures are cut 13 percent on average.  When coupled with proposed cuts to ambulatory surgery centers, some practices could experience reductions of up to 20 percent.  We need your help! Take action: tell CMS to reconsider the cuts. Read my full post for details

Katz.jpg From Past ACG President, IBD Expert Seymour Katz, MD, MACG

Act Now to Help Ensure Complex Patient Care, Cognitive Services Get New Codes
A recent CMS proposal may be a positive step for those of us in academic institutions or private practices whose “value” is benchmarked off the relative value unit (RVU) system but spend a significant amount of our time performing lower RVU evaluation and management (E&M) services to complex patients.

As part of the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, CMS is seeking stakeholder feedback on creating codes for cognitive services that require more time and work than traditional E&M services. The goal of such efforts would be to better describe and value the physician work (time and intensity) for these complex patients. Follow these simple steps to help ensure complex patient Care, cognitive services get new codes. Read my full post.

Current 1st and 2nd year Fellows Apply Now: 2016 Joint ACG-FDA Fellowship Program

FDA.jpg Current first and second year fellows are invited to submit their application for a one-month rotation at the FDA, sponsored by ACG. The candidate chosen will have the opportunity to participate in daily FDA activities and will gain first-hand knowledge of the drug and device approval process. The College will provide a stipend for travel and daily living expenses. Eligible applicants must complete this application formRead full post for details.

Photo: ACG-FDA 2013 Visiting Fellow Dr. Deepinder Goya during his visiting fellowship at the FDA with the two main people who helped establish this program: Dr. Jessica Lee (on left) and Dr. Kerry Jo Lee (on right).

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

ICD-10 Updates and Tips

As you are aware, on October 1, the Medicare claims processing system is set to begin using the new ICD-10 codes. I wanted to provide a few tips and updates in response to some of your most pressing questions to help ease this transition process, such as:

  • Importance of EMR check
  • Why software compliance doesn’t end with your EMR system
  • When and why to submit test claims
  • The critical key to successful ICD-10 implementation

Read my full post for details

Need a cheat sheet? ACG has prepared a helpful ICD-10 Playbook, including ICD-10 Coding Cheat-Sheets where you can easily search by GI category.