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In early February, the AUA Board of Directors approved an amended list of federal legislative priorities submitted by the Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC) with input from the Public Policy Council. Advocating for the full spectrum of treatment options for survivors of prostate cancer was added as a new topic in 2017, while several existing priorities were updated and others were removed from the list due to action taken by the U.S. government. Each year, the LAC identifies legislative priorities to help guide the Association’s advocacy efforts. In 2016, the committee was aided by a survey of domestic AUA members and six other urologic organizations....
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On February 2, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (OPDIVO, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) for treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with a platinum-containing chemotherapy. More Information available here .
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If you have not submitted your 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) data, it is not too late. The reporting deadline for those using a traditional/qualified registry is Friday, March 31, 2017 (the Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided a list of all the qualified registry services it has approved for 2016). However, many registry companies have imposed earlier deadlines in order to ensure that all required information is submitted to CMS in time. The AUA is offering its members the AUA PQRS Registry , which is streamlined to focus on those measures deemed most appropriate for urology practices; the...
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On February 10, after weeks of heavy scrutiny by Democratic lawmakers, the U.S. Senate confirmed Representative Tom Price, MD (R-GA) to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Donald Trump’s administration. The contentious nominee was confirmed down party lines by a vote of 52-47. One day after his confirmation, the AUA partnered with Men’s Health Network, the Prostate Heath Education Network and the Veterans Health Council and sent a letter congratulating Secretary Price and outlining the organizations’ commitment to working with him and HHS to ensure unfettered access to vital, life-saving...
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This week’s advocacy update includes information about our Congressional advocacy on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reform and Independent Payment Advisory Board repeal and insurance updates. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Reform: Ongoing Congressional Outreach Last week, the AUA communicated with every House of Representatives office that previously cosponsored the USPSTF Transparency & Accountability Act, but has not yet cosponsored the recently reintroduced bill (H.R. 539). The majority of the 63 offices contacted were not yet aware that the bill has been reintroduced and are now reviewing it to ensure that...
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The 2017 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference will be held from March 5-7 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC. This conference is cosponsored by the American Urological Association and the American Association of Clinical Urologists. The only advocacy meeting specifically devoted to urology’s legislative agenda, the conference provides an opportunity for urologists to meet with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate on behalf of patients and the profession. Advocating as a united group for urology has a significant impact on Capitol Hill. Please join us for this important meeting and work together to increase elected officials’...
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use a group of supplements promoted for sexual enhancement because an FDA laboratory analysis confirmed they contain undeclared sildenafil. The products noted by the FDA include: Ginseng for Reinforcing Kidney Goldrellas Original Goldreallas XXX Old Chinese Shenjingpian Sildenafil is an FDA-approved pharmaceutical ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction. While there are no reports of illness associated with the list of supplements, they could pose a threat to consumers because the undeclared product can interact with nitrates found in some...
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On May 11, as part of the 2017 AUA Practice Management Conference in Boston, Dr. Arthur Tarantino, Lead Physician of the Urology POD, Hartford Healthcare Medical Group in Connecticut, will lead a presentation entitled “Physician Compensation and Your Organizational Goals”. Dr. Tarantino is an experienced leader in the fields of organized medicine and urology at a variety of leadership levels. At his presentation, he will address a variety of key topics during his talk, including compensation formulas, quality measures and patient satisfaction. “Practices and employers have to get buy in from their physician shareholders or employed...
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This week’s advocacy update includes information on AUA 2017 legislative priorities, advocacy on IPAB repeal and network adequacy as well as our joint statement with patient advocates on the USPSTF. Legislative Priorities: Board Approved Earlier this month, the AUA Board of Directors approved the 2017 legislative priorities as proposed by the Legislative Affairs Committee and Public Policy Council from the 2016 Health Policy Weekend. The priorities, as they were approved, are listed below: Preserve access to appropriate prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. Reform the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation process....
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The AUA’s Practice Management Department is excited for our upcoming AUA Coding Seminar, held on March 31- April 1, 2017, in Tampa, FL. The Tampa Seminar will be the focus of our next PMN Podcast episode, where we will give our listeners a preview of the seminar’s events and an interview with the seminar’s featured speaker, Mark Painter. Mark Painter is a managing Partner of PRS Consulting, LLC, the CEO of PRS Urology Service Corporation and the Vice President of Coding and Reimbursement Information for Physician Reimbursement Systems, Inc. (PRS). His extensive knowledge of physician reimbursement issues has allowed him to assist insurance...
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Many providers are starting to implement facets of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP), which brings about changes to federal government quality reporting programs as dictated in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) passed in 2015. However, the previous reporting programs are not quite done yet. Providers still have several weeks to complete their Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting. Take advantage of AUA resources in order to complete this important task. AUA PQRS Registry: The AUA recently launched the AUA PQRS Registry , an online traditional clinical registry focused on those PQRS measures most applicable...
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This week’s advocacy update includes information on our Hill meetings, 2017 strategy for prior authorization reform, and patient and research advocacy partnerships on defense appropriations and access to medications. Legislative Outreach: Reps. Scott Peters, Carlos Curbelo and Neal Dunn, MD Last week, the AUA met with staff in the offices of Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), and Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL-2). Dr. Dunn, a urologist from Florida, specifically requested the meeting so his chief of staff and legislative director can get to know the AUA, its staff, and our policy positions. Dr. Dunn is serving on the House Committee...
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On January 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the Open Payments dataset to reflect changes to the data that took place since the last publication on June 30, 2016. The updated dataset is now available for viewing here . Every year, CMS updates the Open Payments data at least once to include updates from disputes and other data corrections made since the initial publication of the data. The updates affect all types of payments or transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals and physician ownership or investment interests. The AUA encourages members to review data reported on their behalf by drug and device manufacturers...
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Effective July 1, 2017, every physician practice that participates with PalmettoGBA, must have their eServices account updated to ensure password security. The multi-factor authentication process will add an extra layer of security for the following online services: Eligibility Claims Status eClaim Submissions - available for Part B and Railroad Medicare providers Clerical Error Claim Reopening Requests - available for Part B Remittances Online Financial Information - payment floor and last three checks paid Financial Forms - eOffset requests, eCheck payments and CMS-838 Credit Balance form (Part A and HHH only) Secure Forms - Appeals,...
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The AUA Coding and Reimbursement Committee reviewed a request for the appropriate coding for utilizing a penile pressure cuff. The Committee supports the use of CPT code 51741 Complex uroflowmetry (eg, calibrated electronic equipment) and CPT code 51784 Electromyography studies (EMG) of anal or urethral sphincter, other than needle, any technique when the uroflow and EMG are performed and documented. However, the Committee determined that 51728-52 is not appropriate to report the voiding pressure study. At this time, the Committee is unaware of a CPT code available to report using a penile pressure cuff for a urethral pressure study. If there are questions,...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the quality benchmarks that will be used to determine 2018 Value Modifier (VM) scores, as well as 2016 annual quality and resource use reports (QRURs). All providers seeing Medicare Part B patients will receive a VM score and a QRUR. Each benchmark notes the mean (or average) score of all those who reported the measure, and CMS has also noted the standard deviation from the mean. The benchmarks for each quality measure are based on the performance of all solo practitioners and groups nationwide in 2015, the year prior to the performance year; in other words, 2015 benchmarks are...
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a consumer alert for XtraHRD , marketed as a dietary supplement for sexual enhancement. This product includes an undeclared amount of N-desmethyl tadalafil—an analogue of tadalafil, an FDA-approved pharmaceutical ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction. This pharmaceutical can pose a threat to consumers because it can interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease often take nitrates. Consumers should contact their physician or...
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This March, join your fellow urologists in Washington, DC, for the 2017 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC) -- a national advocacy conference devoted to protecting and promoting the interests of urologists and their patients. This year’s event, cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Urologists and the American Urological Association, will take place from March 5-7 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown DC. This year’s JAC includes presentations from members of Congress, healthcare association policy experts, patient advocacy organizations, nationally renowned political pundits, and more! View the program. ...
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This month’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Physicians, Nurses & Allied Health Professionals Open Door Forum (ODF) focused on five issues: the launch of ODF Podcasts, two Physician Compare webinars, an update on the Shared Savings Program, and refreshed Open Payments data. 1. Open Door Forum calls are now available as Podcasts . The agency says to allow a week or so to get the audio posted. Call transcripts also are posted to this web page. 2. The Physician Compare support team will host two one-hour webinars to demonstrate their new website and show the 2015 performance scores, which were released in December 2016. Sessions...
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On May 11th, as part of the 2017 AUA Practice Management Conference in Boston, Dr. Franklin Gaylis, Chief Scientific Officer at Genesis Healthcare Partners in San Diego, California will lead our Masters Track breakout session, which will be on MACRA and its implications for practices. Dr. Gaylis has been a practicing urologist for 27 years and regularly lectures nationally and internationally on the subject of medical quality. An experienced advocate for medical quality improvement, Dr. Gaylis will address a variety of key topics during his talk, including how to prepare for MACRA’s many reporting requirements. “MACRA will define how healthcare...
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