ACG leaders had a very busy 2023 advocating for the best interests of GI practices and patients.
Top priorities included fighting insurer restrictions, building coalitions to fight damaging Medicare cuts and improve colorectal cancer screening, and introducing new member resources for administrative burden.
ACG is grateful to have the support of our members in the public policy arena, and will again work with like-minded partners to advance our causes in 2024!
Highlights in Advocacy & Practice Management
Fighting Insurers: Successfully Curbed UnitedHealthCare’s Harmful GI Endoscopy Restrictions
Thanks to your advocacy, UHC abandoned its ill-conceived plan to require prior authorizations for endoscopy. Immediate Past ACG President Daniel Pambianco, MD, FACG joined patient advocates for a rally at UHC headquarters in May (pictured above).
ACG and the GI societies led a group letter to UHC, signed by over 170 organizations, making national media coverage featuring ACG leaders. Additionally, when ACG met with state insurance commissioners, they specifically credited our Board of Governors’ Advisory Alert for sounding the alarm around UHC’s proposed changes.
This fight is far from over, as insurers continue to ramp up prior authorization to reduce costs, instead of focusing on quality of care to beneficiaries. ACG will continue to fight any coverage policies that infringe on the patient-provider relationship.
Reducing Burdens: Membership Benefits that Support Your Practice
In response to member demand, the ACG Prior Authorization Task Force developed an online prior authorization letter generator – an innovative tool that helps you produce custom letters with the information insurers seek. Currently, ten common GI conditions are included, with more to come in 2024.
If you haven’t already, use this new resource and reduce your practice’s administrative burden today!
Also in 2023, the ACG Professionalism and Practice Management Committees created the ACG Wellness Central, providing members with resources to improve professional and personal wellness. Physician well-being will continue to be a top priority for ACG President, Jonathan Leighton, MD, FACG.
Building Coalitions: Partnering with Medical Associations and Patient Advocacy Groups
ACG continues to urge insurers to cover surveillance colonoscopy as a preventive service, ensuring no cost-sharing for patients. ACG held several meetings with HHS and then organized a joint letter with Fight CRC and the GI societies, along with nearly 100 state medical societies and patient advocacy groups, asking the federal government to issue updated guidance for private insurers. Thanks to ACG leaders’ advocacy, Congress is now involved, as Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and her House colleagues sent a similar request to HHS.
ACG is proud to partner with medical societies and patient advocacy groups across the country, focusing on national, state, and local issues. The ACG Governors are collaborating with the Colon Cancer Coalition on local screening programs and awareness campaigns. On Capitol Hill, ACG joined patient advocates and participated in both the Digestive Disease National Coalition and the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders lobby days. ACG is also a member of coalitions to address step therapy, prior authorization, and policies on the obesity crisis.
We are also excited to bring back the ACG-FDA Visiting Fellowship! Interested first- and second-year fellows can apply now through January 31st. Learn more about our renewed partnership with the FDA >
Lastly, we know ACG members are frustrated and angered by the latest round of harmful Medicare cuts, as well as the lack of progress on broader system reform. ACG will continue to partner with the AMA and the House of Medicine on these efforts, and remain committed to securing long-term improvements.
2023 By the Numbers
2,700 messages sent by ACG members to their legislators
Your individual actions matter! Topics included support for state and federal legislation, Medicare reimbursement cuts and reforms, UHC’s prior authorization plans, and surveillance colonoscopy.
200+ in-person meetings with Members of Congress
Nearly 100 members from more than 40 states joined us in Washington, D.C. for our annual fly-in and “Political Grand Rounds” luncheon with various Members of Congress, led by Louis Wilson, MD, FACG.
In a letter to ACG, Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) thanked the College for its leadership during Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month.
Dozens of articles in the media featuring ACG leaders
The proposed rule highlights that the OIG has the discretion to choose which information blocking complaints to investigate.
Two events with ACG leadership and First Lady Jill Biden
In October, Immediate Past President Dan Pambianco, MD, FACG, spoke at a cancer survivorship event in Florida hosted by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). Earlier in the year, ACG Trustee James Hobley, MD, FACG participated in a Biden Cancer Moonshot event with Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, FACG (R-LA).