AUA Advocacy Snapshot: Week of May 6, 2019

By Policy and Advocacy Brief posted 05-08-2019 15:38


This week’s update includes the positive impact of your AUA Summit “ask” on prostate cancer screening as well as practice management and patient advocacy news from the American Urological Association’s annual meeting.

Access to Prostate Cancer Screening: AUA Summit “Ask” Included in House Spending Bill

On May 7, the House Appropriations Committee released its accompanying report to the Fiscal Year 2020 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act. In the report is language directed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that was advocated for by the urologic community at the AUA Summit this past March. The language encourages further investment in research for prostate cancer screening for high-risk populations, like African American men and those of a family history. This request stems from the 2018 upgrade in recommendations for prostate cancer screening by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, but, at the time, was unable to give specific insight for African American men – citing a lack of available research evidence of the benefits to this population.

While the report does not require the NCI to apply its appropriated funds in any specific way, it is a strong encouragement and provides an outline on what Congress believes are the important issues to focus on. The full prostate cancer language can be found on page 83 of the report, which is available here:

As the annual appropriations process continues through Congress, we will keep you updated on this and other issues that affect urology.

‘Patient Advocacy Connections’ at AUA 2019

The Patient Advocacy Connections Booth: Connecting More Than
20 Patient Advocacy Organizations

The Patient Advocacy Program at AUA 2019 successfully connected more than 20 patient advocacy organizations with annual meeting attendees. The Patient Advocacy Connections Booth, located in the Science & Technology Hall, offered participants an opportunity to showcase their organization materials and interact with meeting attendees about advocacy initiatives and improving patient access to care.

Our Breakfast Roundtable Focused on Legislative Issues Impacting Patient Access to Care

In addition to time in the Science & Technology Hall, participants attended three roundtable meetings entitled “Legislative Issues Impacting Patient Access to Care, Effectively Mobilizing Advocates on Capitol Hill, and Activating Your Story in a Noisy World.”

Roundtable discussions allowed advocates the opportunity to discuss key legislative issues impacting patient access to care including step therapy and prior authorization. Participants also shared best practices on empowering advocates to remain engaged with lawmakers and raise awareness about polices that impact patient safety and access to treatments.

Many thanks to those who connected with our patient advocacy partners, including Dr. Brook Brown, Dr. Toby Chai, Dr. Michael Hsieh,  Dr. Hyung Lae Kim, Dr. Jay Motola and Dr. Gail S. Prins, during their time at Annual Meeting. Our advocacy partners have conveyed they found their interactions with urologists beneficial and enjoyed discussing their advocacy interests and showcasing the services that they provide to the urologic community.


Practice Management: The AUA Completes Another Successful Practice Management Conference, Registration for the 2019 AUA Coding Seminar is Now Open!

PMC Presenters (pictured clockwise, starting from top left) Dr. Peter Knapp,
Alan Plotkin, Malissa Eversole, and Dr. Mark Fallick

The AUA would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Practice Management Conference. The conference featured a variety of presenters, from physicians to administrators, coming together to deliver valuable information to help our attendees run their practices efficiently and effectively. Our attendees also had the chance to lend their voices and opinions during our hot topic discussions, where they weighed in on some of the issues that are impacting their practices. We appreciate everyone who attended and participated in this year’s conference and look forward providing more information at next year’s conference in Washington D.C. Lastly, those who weren’t able to attend this year’s conference can still enjoy this year’s presentations via our PMC Recordings. Each conference session was recorded at this year’s conference and will be available for purchase next month. More information on how to purchase this item will be released via the AUA University website and email next month as well.

Register today for the AUA’s Las Vegas Coding Seminar. The seminar will be held on for the July 19-20. Our renowned yearly seminar is an enjoyable and informative event; past attendees have suggested that it is a “‘very valuable seminar” providing a great balance of coding and compliance education. This year’s seminar will feature experts in the field of urology like Dr. Jay Motola, Sean M. Weiss, Max Reiboldt, and many more. Our presenters will provide updates on coding changes, discussions of common coding questions and for the July 19-20 payment denials gathered from the AUA Coding Hotline. The seminar will offer practical exercises to hone the skills of anyone in the practice who is involved with CPT, HCPCS, or ICD coding. Our seminar also will feature coding workshops to educate attendees on coding basics and discuss surgical coding challenges, as well as our auditing workshop, which will show our attendees how to face the challenges of Evaluation and Management documentation head on.

Visit our website to view the seminar schedule for each day and register for the AUA Coding Seminar.


Patient Advocacy Outreach and Events

The AUA conducted individualized meetings with the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA), RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and the National Association for Continence (NAFC). These meetings were part of an ongoing effort to identify areas of alignment among the AUA’s legislative initiatives and partner activities. Key discussion topics included launching awareness campaigns to education patients and physicians about disease specific areas and brainstorming ideas to remove stigma associated with urologic conditions. As a result of these meetings, the AUA will participate in upcoming hill days and education seminars sponsored by the respective organizations. The AUA will continue partner outreach over the coming months and will keep you apprised meeting outcomes.


Clinician Outreach Meeting: Top Takeaways Focus on Payment Models, CCIIO updates, Medicare Supplemental Benefits and Telehealth updates

On May 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Clinician Outreach Meeting focused on the new Primary Care First and Direct Contracting Payment Models, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) updates, and Medicare Parts C and D Supplemental Benefits and Telehealth updates. Read more here.

Congressional Outreach: AUA Continues to Meet with Freshman Offices

The AUA continued its outreach to an additional eight freshman offices with the goal of introducing them to issues of concern in urology and how they affect patients. Between April 29 – May 2, the AUA met with staff in the offices of Reps. Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-5), Collin Allred (D-TX-32), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Lizzie Fletcher (D-NV-7), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7).

These were part of a series of meetings that the AUA is holding with freshman offices to educate them on the association and the key role urology plays in healthcare. We will keep you updated as more meetings are held.


Insurance Updates: Week of May 6, 2019

Each week, the AUA publishes weekly updates on the lasted insurance issues pertaining to urology. This week’s update includes important information on Blue Cross Blue Shield Western NY/ Health Now’s revision to their Prostatic Urethral Lift medical policy.  Humana has added a new policy for Reclast. Cigna has new criteria for pass through billing. Read more here.