Call to Action: Ask your representatives to support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019!

We need your help! This week, a bill that ACG has strongly supported in the past has been reintroduced in the new congress. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019 (S.668/H.R.1570).”  Representatives Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rodney Davis (R-IL), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), and David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) introduced a corresponding bill in the House.  The bill fixes a Medicare coverage quirk contained in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by waiving Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing when screening colonoscopies turn therapeutic. Right now, Medicare only has the authority to waive the patient coinsurance for colonoscopies that remain a “screening.” The legislation has already garnered solid bipartisan support, with 42 and 122 cosponsors in the Senate and House, respectively, at the time of this writing.

Please urge your senators and representatives to cosponsor these important bills!

Click here to take action now!

How can I get involved?

What are some important bills impacting GI in Congress? In your state? How can you easily voice your support?

ACG’s Legislative Action Center is your one stop resource to review and advocate for various federal and state bills impacting your profession, practice, and patients.

Take action now!

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.

Contact your Governor today!

New! ACG Practice Management Toolbox Article: Alignment but NOT Employment: Professional Service Agreements with a Hospital System

New this week to the ACG Practice Management Toolbox is an article brought to you by Stephen Amann, MD, FACG and James DiLorenzo, MD, of the ACG Practice Management Committee in the Reimbursement and Revenue category.  An evolution of the physician to hospital relationship is ongoing, and hospital employment is not always the preferred option for many, due to a desire for autonomy and personal stewardship. In “Alignment but NOT Employment: Professional Service Agreements with a Hospital System,an alternative contractual vehicle, the professional services agreement (PSA) is explored and outlined for you, including the most common PSA types, key concerns to consider, and the overall benefits and risks involved.

Click here to read: "Alignment but NOT Employment: Professional Service Agreements with a Hospital System."

What is the Practice Management toolbox?

Gastroenterologists in private practice find themselves working in a time of unprecedented transformation. Pressures are high as they make important management decisions that profoundly affect their business future, their private lives, and their ability to provide care to patients. The ACG Practice Management Committee has a mission to bring practicing colleagues together to explore solutions to overcome management challenges, to improve operations, enhance productivity, and support physician leadership. It was in this spirit that the Practice Management Toolbox was created.

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.

ACG Member Checklist: What are the steps I need to take?

As discussed in previous tidbits, ACG members must meet certain criteria before being eligible for the “QPP.”

Your first step: Check eligibility

First, you need to find out whether or not you must participate in the QPP.  Visit the Medicare Quality Payment Program website to check your participation status by entering your national provider identifier (NPI) number.

Your next step (if you must participate):
Pick your QPP payment track

Your next step requires you to decide what reimbursement system or “track” you can participate in for your Medicare fee-for-services patients.  This participation look-up will help you. The options:

  1. A modified fee-for-service reimbursement system called the Merit-Based Incentive payment System (MIPS); or
  2. A CMS-approved alternative payment model (APM), like participating in a bundled payment or accountable care organization (ACO) payment model. These CMS-approved payment mechanisms are called “advanced alterative payment models (APMs).”

Track 1: MIPS & more: read the full tidbit here.

MACRA Year 3: Background and Acronyms

ACG's goal is to provide membership with educational guidance in a simple, easy-to-understand fashion. We compiled a detailed overview for you that seeks to make some sense out of this alphabet soup, including acronyms such as MACRA, QPP, MIPS, APMs, etc. – but hopefully in a simplified fashion and in plain English.

Click here to check out our review of Year 3!