ACG NAAN Staying Busy On Capitol Hill
From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Louis J. Wilson, MD, FACG
This week, ACG Governor for North Carolina, Baharak Moshiree, MD, FACG, and I met with U.S. Representative Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC). We discussed the importance of protecting and supporting our patients and practices across the U.S. Rep. Murphy still practices medicine as a member of Congress. In calling for greater prior authorization reforms, he understands the significant impact this process has on patient care. He looks forward to working with the College and the North Carolina Society of Gastroenterology.
Working with Congress, the ACG National Affairs Action Network (NAAN) strives to increase access to care and decrease these burdens unfairly borne by GI practices. ACG will continue to serve as your voice for clinical gastroenterology and our patients.
Cancer Moonshot 2.0: On Wednesday, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Ed.D, renewed efforts in the flight against cancer, with a ‘Cancer Moonshot’ call-to-action that includes jumpstarting screenings as well as reducing disparities in screening rates. ACG applauds the Biden Administration, as multiple studies estimate an increase in colorectal cancer incidence rates due to the pandemic and delay in screening. According to the White House, there will be more than 9.5 million missed cancer screenings in the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ACG’s March 2021 colorectal cancer screening guidelines and subsequent advocacy efforts also call for policy efforts to reduce disparities in screening. ACG will be meeting with officials to discuss the data and guidelines.
ACG is also eager to discuss the Biden Administration’s push for more home-based colorectal cancer screening tests. It is important to learn more about the plans to distribute these tests to average-risk individuals, as well as our shared goal of improving adherence rates to the necessary colonoscopy subsequent to a positive/abnormal at-home test. Fortunately, on January 10th, the federal government released an important update on preventive services covered under the ACA, requiring insurers to remove patient cost-sharing for the diagnostic colonoscopy after a positive colorectal cancer screening test, beginning May 31, 2022. Thank you ACG members, patient advocates, and like-minded organizations for your passion and persistence in making this happen.
ACG will keep you updated on the College’s work with the Biden Administration to promote the power of prevention, screening, and surveillance.
ACG Board of Governors Update
From Vice Chair and Chair of the ACG Board of Governors, Dayna S. Early, MD, FACG and Patrick E. Young, MD, FACG
The ACG Board of Governors met on Saturday, January 29th to discuss important issues percolating in GI practices across the country. Thank you ACG Governors for your dedication to the College’s membership and our patients. Among some of the policy highlights:
The ACG Governor for Mississippi, Vonda Reeves, MD, MBA, FACG is spearheading efforts in the state legislature to pass a colon cancer screening mandate beginning at age 45 and for higher-risk individuals. ACG is working with state societies in calling for the legislature to pass this bill. Thank you Dr. Reeves for championing this cause.
From Mississippi ACG Governor, Vonda G. Reeves, MD, MBA, FACG
Mississippi ACG Members, use ACG's Legislative Action Center and urge our State Senators to address SB 2666 and vote this important bill out of the State Senate Insurance Committee.
From Michigan ACG Governor, Shanti L. Eswaran, MD, FACG
ACG Governors are working with colleagues and patient advocates in trying to reform step therapy and the prior authorization process in State Houses across the U.S.
This includes efforts underway in Michigan, where a bill that recently passed the Michigan State Senate is awaiting further action in the House.