Kick Off the Summer by Joining the ACG NAAN

From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Louis J. Wilson, MD, FACG

Working with Congress, the ACG NAAN and Board of Governors strive 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 on Capitol Hill and in State Houses across the country.

Other Policy Notables and Data for ACG Members

  • ACG, Societies Urge CMS to Change Step Therapy Policy: ACG recently joined 70 physician and patient groups on a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure urging CMS to reverse current policy that allows for the use of step therapy in Medicare Advantage plans. ACG will continue to urge advocate for step therapy reform in Washington, D.C. and in State Houses across the country.
  • Changes in Cancer Screening due to COVID-19:study recently published in JAMA found that screening colonoscopies fell by 16% from 2018 to 2020, the decrease was partially offset by a 7% increase in stool testing. ACG continues to educate policymakers on the importance of promoting colorectal cancer screening and surveillance programs.  
  • Hospitals Fined for Failing to Report Prices: CMS penalized two Georgia hospitals with fines totaling roughly $1.1 million for failing to list their prices, marking the first time the federal government has enforced the federal price transparency rule that took effect in 2021. The Georgia hospitals were among the nearly 160 health systems that CMS said didn't take steps to comply with the rule after the agency asked for their plans to do so. A recent study published in JAMA found low hospital compliance to the federal price transparency rule.
  • Lower Medicare Part B Premiums for 2023: CMS anticipates lower 2023 Medicare Part B premiums compared to 2022. In November 2021, CMS announced that the Part B standard monthly premium increased from $148.50 in 2021 to $170.10 in 2022. CMS will finalize the 2023 premium this fall. As of February 2022, over 64.2 million people are enrolled in Medicare. The breakdown: 34.9 million are enrolled in Original Medicare fee for service and 29.4 million are enrolled in Medicare Advantage or other health plans.
  • Medicare Trustees Report Estimates Medicare Part A Insolvency in 2028: The report finds that Medicare’s Part A Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, which pays hospital inpatient expenses, could run short of money in 2028, two years later than the estimate in last year’s report. If nothing changes, in 2028 incoming revenue would still cover 90% of Medicare costs. The Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) trust fund for Medicare Part B, which pays for physician and outpatient services, is financed from general revenues and beneficiary premiums.

Contact Your ACG Governor Today

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 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 Coding and Billing Tip of the Week

From ACG Practice Management Committee Chair, Stephen T. Amann, MD, FACG

The ACG Practice Management Committee offers professional coding and documentation assistance for ACG members, tailored to your individual practice’s questions and needs. ACG Coding & Billing Forum and Arlene Morrow, CPC, CMM, CMSCS walk through the background and important changes for you.

This week's Coding and Billing Tip from Arlene Morrow deals with infusion services.

ACG Member Update: Imaging IV Contrast Supplies

From ACG FDA Related Matters Committee Chair, Eric D. Shah, MD, MBA, FACG

As many ACG members are aware, there is currently a shortage of IV contrast supplies across the U.S. Specifically, iohexol and iodixanol intravenous contrast media products for computed tomography imaging.

ACG is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others in providing updates from the manufacturers. This week, GE Healthcare released a statement providing background on the shortages and the supply-chain issues due to the March 2022 COVID lockdowns in China. The impacted facility had increased production output from 0% of capacity when the plant was closed but was at 60% output as of May 21, 2022. GE Healthcare expects the plant to be producing at 75% in the next two weeks. According to the FDA, these issues should be resolved by July. ACG will continue to alert membership on the latest updates from the FDA and manufacturers.