ACG President Urges Action to Prevent Medicare Cuts
From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, James C. Hobley, MD, MSc, FACG
This week ACG called upon Congress to prevent looming Medicare cuts beginning January 2022. Without congressional action, ACG members are forced to take an unnecessary and unwarranted cocktail of Medicare sequestration and Medicare conversion factor cuts precisely when GI practices are trying to maintain a new normal, or preparing for more disruption due to the COVID-19 variants. ACG President David A. Greenwald, MD, FACG reminded congressional leaders that the pandemic has significantly impacted colorectal cancer screenings and treating patients with chronic GI conditions. ACG members and healthcare providers should not be punished for unrelated fiscal policy decisions, but rather, commended for their role in helping to steer the U.S. and the world throughout this crisis.
ACG will continue to work independently as well as with a broad coalition of societies in opposing these cuts.
Update from Your ACG Governor: Telehealth Bill Passes in Illinois
From Illinois ACG Governor, Russell D. Cohen, MD, FACG
On July 22nd, IL Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law legislation that increases access to important telehealth services in our state, including payment parity with in-person visits through 2027. H.B. 3308 also eliminates geographic barriers to telehealth delivery and sets limits on patient cost-sharing.
Under the new law, payers will not be able to require an in-person visit before a telehealth service, or make patients provide a reason for requesting virtual care. It also prevents payers from requiring patients to see a provider via telehealth if they request in-person care.
The ACG Governors and ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council continue to urge policymakers at the state level to permanently waive unnecessary telehealth restrictions and require payment parity for telehealth visits during this pandemic.
Remember to contact your ACG Governor on important state and local issues impacting you and your practice.
The ACG Board of Governors is one of the most unique aspects of the American College of Gastroenterology. Governors are ACG Fellows that are elected from the membership of a particular state or region. There are currently 77 Governors across seven different regions in the U.S. and abroad. The Board of Governors acts as a two-way conduit between College leadership and the membership at-large. This helps the College make certain it is meeting the evolving needs of the membership.
ACG Advocating U.S. Congress to Increase Access to Telehealth Services
ACG continues to advocate for telehealth services on the national level as well. There are currently multiple telehealth bills in Congress that waive geographic and other restrictions, as well as provide for payment parity through the pandemic. ACG Governors, the ACG Young Physician Leadership Scholars, and other ACG leaders urged Congress to pass these bills during the 2021 ACG Advocacy Day.
We also need your advocacy voice. The ACG Legislative Action Center makes this easy to do. Please lend your support for these bills below!
The ACG Practice Management Toolbox
The Toolbox is a series of short articles, written by practicing gastroenterologists, that provide members with easily accessible information to improve their practices. Each article covers an issue important to private practice gastroenterologists and physician-lead clinical practices. They include a brief introduction, a topic overview, specific suggestions, helpful examples and a list of resources or references. Each month a new edition of the Toolbox will be released and will then remain available here along with all previous editions. The Practice Management Committee is confident this series will a provide valuable resource for members striving to optimize their practices.