ACG Active on Step Therapy Legislation at the National Level

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

ACG continues to work with policymakers on reducing administrative and practice management burdens borne by ACG members. Check out the new ACG tools on this top priority, including:

Conquering the Prior Authorization Maze: A collaboration between physicians and pharmacists offer strategies to successfully navigate the challenges of prior authorization. Check out the article here.

Working with CMS on Reducing Administrative Burdens: ACG and the GI societies recently submitted comments to CMS in response to the Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule, focusing on important regulatory issues impacting clinical gastroenterology. These comments include opposing any requirement that GI practices be forced to notify Medicare patients of the cost-sharing implications prior to performing a screening colonoscopy, and then document these notifications in the medical record. Thank you ACG members for expressing your opposition to this proposal! In a second set of comments, ACG and the GI societies urge CMS to continue to focus on reducing documentation requirements for E&M services, as well as when supervising allied health professionals and physician assistants.

Working with Legislators on Step Therapy and Prior Authorization: Good news on step therapy legislation. Recently U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and others introduced the Senate companion bill on limiting step therapy and prior authorization burdens. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, MD champions this bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

ACG Active at the State and Local Level

From ACG Massachusetts Governor Anthony Lembo, MD, FACG

ACG is active on the state and local level as well! ACG Governors continue to work with state legislators and state medical societies. Next week, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing will hold an important hearing on the state's step therapy bill. ACG is part of a coalition participating in this hearing. Please urge your support for the bill!

New! ACG Practice Management Toolbox Article: Improving Patient Flow Efficiency to Your Practice

There are many ways to structure a project to improve the patient throughput in a medical practice. We recommend organizing the project by dividing the process based on the pathway to care.This pathway includes tasks starting before the patient arrives, before and during the direct patient interaction, and finishing with initiation of care plans and discharge.

Click here to read the latest addition to the ACG Practice Management Toolbox.

Want More Guidance on Improving Efficiency in Your Practice? Register for the "Roadmap for a Successful Community or Academic GI Practice" Course

The ACG Board of Governors Continues to Represent Members in Washington D.C.: Urge Speaker Pelosi to Pass H.R. 1570

From Neil Stollman, MD, FACG and Patrick Young, MD, FACG, Chair and Vice Chair of the ACG Board of Governors:

ACG Board of Governors Chair Neil Stollman, MD, FACG

ACG Board of Governors Vice Chair Patrick Young, MD, FACG

In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week, the ACG Board of Governors requested U.S. House leadership to pass the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019 (H.R. 1570). H.R. 1570 resolves an unanticipated flaw in the Affordable Care Act that results in a "surprise medical bill" when a polyp is removed during a screening colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society, 145,600 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and over 51,000 will die from this disease in 2019. It is crucial that Congress corrects this significant lapse in Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing protections. Congress is currently considering "surprise medical bill" legislation. H.R. 1570 resolves one example of a surprise bill, the "post-polypectomy surprise bill" when a screening turns therapeutic.

Read the ACG Board of Governors letter to Speaker Pelosi here.

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.