AUA Advocacy Snapshot: Week of June 10, 2019

By Policy and Advocacy Brief posted 06-12-2019 16:09


This week’s update includes information on the Senate HELP Committee healthcare package, new PCORI legislation and updates on the recent 2019 AMA House of Delegates meeting. Congratulations to Dr. Willie Underwood for a successful campaign and election to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees! (See related article.)

American Medical Association: AUA Updates from the House of Delegates

The American Urological Association’s Delegates – Dr. Aaron Spitz and Dr. Willie Underwood, Alternate Delegates Dr. Terry Grimm and Dr. Jason Jameson, Resident and Fellow Delegate Dr. Hans Arora and AUA President-Elect Dr. Scott Swanson joined hundreds of physicians at the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates 2019 Annual Meeting to consider resolutions and reports covering clinical practice, payment, medical education, and public health topics. The meeting took place in Chicago from June 8-12.

While at the meeting, the AUA convened separately with state and national medical societies —including Connecticut State Medical Society, MedChi, Nevada State Medical Association, and New Hampshire Medical Society— to discuss and strategies on policy issues such as compounding, patient data, telemedicine, shared decision making, scope of practice, and organ transplants.

View our updates from the meeting here:

Senate HELP Committee Healthcare Package: AUA, Alliance of Specialty Medicine Address “Surprise” Billing

On June 5, the AUA cosigned comments from the Alliance of Specialty Medicine that were sent to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee providing feedback on the Lower Healthcare Cost Act of 2019. The act would be a sweeping healthcare package addressing surprise billing, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, improving transparency in the healthcare system, addressing public health issues, and improving the exchange of health information. The overall tone of the Alliance letter is supportive, but provides comments on sections that could be improved. As this is still a draft bill, we will let you know if any of the suggested edits are accepted, as well as when the measure is introduced in Congress.

New Prior Authorization Legislation Introduced

The AUA, together with the Regulatory Relief Coalition, last week announced support for H.R. 3107, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019. As previously reported, this bill would protect patients from unreasonable Medicare Advantage plan requirements that needlessly delay or deny access to medically necessary care. (More information here.) The AUA has launched a grassroots campaign urging lawmakers to cosponsor this bill. Please consider contacting your Representative and asking your community to do the same.

Patient & Research Advocacy: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Legislation Officially Introduced

Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO-01) and Don Beyer (D-VA-08) introduced H.R. 3030, the “Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Extension Act of 2019.” The bill would reauthorize PCORI (without any changes) for another decade. The bill was introduced quickly so that it could be considered in the House Energy & Commerce hearing on health program extenders, which occurred earlier this week. As a reminder, PCORI reauthorization was part of the research “ask” at the 2019 AUA Summit. In addition, the AUA has plans to meet with additional members of Congress, specifically republicans, to gain bipartisan support for the bill.

Insurance Updates: Week of June 10, 2019

Each week, the AUA publishes updates on the latest insurance issues pertaining to urology. This week’s update includes important information from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. They have reviewed and revised its Firmagon medical policy. Blue Cross Blue Shield Tennessee has removed the medically appropriate criterion option for the prostatic urethral lift procedure. Anthem blue cross has a new policy for Prostate Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Read more here.

Practice Management: Register Today for The AUA’s Regional Coding Seminar, Join the Practice Management Network

The AUA is returning to The Westin Las Vegas for our annual Las Vegas Coding Seminar, to be held July 19-20. Registration for this event is officially open. The seminar will feature experts in the field of urology, who will provide updates on coding changes, discussions of common coding questions and payment denials gathered from the AUA Coding Hotline. Our event is widely-praised by our attendees: “[I] highly-recommend that physicians, managers, coders and billers of any level should attend.” 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 & Management documentation head on.

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

Does your practice needs access to valuable coding resources and updates on current urology management trends and issues? If so, you need to join the AUA’s Practice Managers’ Network. The Practice Managers’ Network (PMN) is a vibrant hub of education and interaction

Our network allows our members to engage in a variety of ways, from discussing important matters in our online community, to receiving essential coding guidance from our AUA Coding Hotline. Let PMN give your practice the tools it needs to succeed. Join the Practice Managers’ Network and optimize your practice today.