The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule which, if finalized, would drastically cut reimbursement rates for colonoscopy and other lower GI endoscopy procedures. You can take action at the local and national level to express your frustration and to oppose these cuts. Here is a strategic “playbook” for GI physicians from the American College of Gastroenterology.
CALL-TO-ACTION FOR ACG MEMBERS
Help thwart Medicare’s planned cuts to lifesaving colonoscopy—six ways you can fight back:
1. Take Action: ACG is fighting on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries and physicians on the front lines of screening and prevention for colorectal cancer. Sign this petition to add you voice to demand that Congress not allow cuts to colonoscopy and help stop Medicare bureaucrats in their tracks. Sign Now
2. Engage your patients and your practice: Here are two powerful ways you can let your Medicare patients and staff know what is at stake and can add their voices to the fight.
Post this ACG petition in your office.
- Staff and patients can easily scan the QR code with their smartphones to add their name to the Petition to Congress.
- Use this ACG petition signature sheet. Email or fax the petition with signatures to ACG whenever the signature sheet is filled up. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 301-263-9025. Then just re-post another petition signature sheet for more patients to sign.
3. Be an advocate at the national level: Engage with the United States Congress
- Use this link to write your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and urge them to support the SCREEN Act (S.1079 and H.R. 2035). This bill is the only legislative vehicle currently before the U.S. Congress that addresses these cuts to Medicare and advances colorectal cancer prevention.
- Engage your practice and reach out to your state GI society. Urge them to contact the congressional delegation to help stop these proposed cuts and have them send a letter of support to your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the SCREEN Act. Forward these letters to ACG offices and our staff will promote these letters and send them your congressional delegation.
- Take advantage of the August congressional recess (August 3rd through August 31st) to reach out to your U.S. Representative and Senators in their district offices.
4. Be an advocate at the national level: Write to CMS Medicare regulators, explaining what’s at stake for patients and public health by deadline of September 8, 2015 11:59 PM EDT. Click on the blue “Comment Now” button at the top of the page to voice your concerns.
5. Write a Letter to the Editor to submit to your local newspapers—a local physician has authority and legitimacy in the local media and a mention of lawmakers will get noticed by Congress.
6. Follow ACG on social media and share social media posts by re-tweeting or sharing with others within your network, and include patient advocacy groups, if you are connected.
Stay tuned for more updates and further calls-to-action.
Questions? Please contact:
Vice President, Public Policy, Coverage & Reimbursement
American College of Gastroenterology