This Week – October 7, 2017

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • House and Senate Panels Clear Bill Repealing IPAB
  • At the State and Local Level- Ohio ACG Members: We need your help now!
  • MACRA Tidbit for the Week: MACRA and Your Employment Agreements

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

ACA Repeal Watch: House and Senate Panels Clear Bill Repealing IPAB

On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee approved the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act” (H.R. 849) with bipartisan support. The bill, sponsored by two physicians in Congress – Reps. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA), repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  ACG has advocated for this bill, met with members of Congress, and urged the Ways & Means Committee to send the bill to the House floor for passage.  On Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee approved an amendment in the fiscal 2018 budget that repeals IPAB.  The budget was approved by the committee, but still must be passed by the Senate.

While not yet implemented, the IPAB was authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a way to slow down costs in Medicare, should the program exceed targeted expectations.  If so, a panel of health policy experts and economists would come together and develop must-pass recommendations for Congress.  ACG believes that cutting provider reimbursement will always be threatened and unfortunately included as a part of these recommendations.  Thus, ACG and others have worked to repeal the IPAB since it was first authorized in the ACA.

Now that efforts to repeal the ACA have been placed on the backburner for the time being, ACG is hopeful that Congress will now begin to address the substantive changes to the ACA, including repealing the IPAB.  ACG is encouraged by the latest action in the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Budget Committee, and will continue to advocate for clinical GI and full IPAB repeal in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Ohio ACG Members: we need your help now!

Next week, on Wednesday, October 11th, the Ohio House Health Committee is holding a hearing for the Patient Access Expansion Act (HB 273).  Introduced by State Representative Theresa Gavarone, this bill prohibits maintenance of board certification requirements for state licensure, hospital privileges, credentialing, employment, and/or insurance payment. ACG will be participating in this hearing, speaking on behalf of GI clinicians in Ohio, and have reached out to Representative Gavarone expressing our support.

Please contact the members of the Health Committee below and urge them to support this bill!

Click here to take action now!

We need your help to use our legislative voices to call for a rational approach to Maintenance of Certification (MOC).  To help make an impact, these state legislators need to hear from you directly, and the ACG website makes this process quick and simple.  Use the link above to advocate your support for this important MOC bill.

MACRA and Your Employment Agreements

ACG strives to not only make sense of the exhaustive details of MACRA for you, but to also make $ense of the financial aspects of MACRA, too.

In the most recent edition of the ACG Magazine, health law expert Ann Bittinger, JD writes an article on MACRA called “The Incredible Shrinking Paycheck: MACRA and the link between accountability and physician compensation.”  Ms. Bittinger provides an overview of why MACRA may have a greater impact on your employment agreement than reimbursement.  Be sure to check it out!

Ann Bittinger, JD is a frequent contributor to the ACG Magazine on various practice management issues.  She is a health care attorney practicing in Florida, and recently educated ACG Governors on MACRA’s impact on GI practices and employment agreements during the 2017 ACG Board of Governors Washington D.C. Fly-in and Spring Meeting.

ACG members are also encouraged to check out ACG’s Making $ense of MACRA and other MACRA educational material on the ACG website.