AACU News & Notes

HHS Finalizes Rules Modernizing Stark Law & AKS

posted: November 30, 2020
Changes reflect shift toward coordinated, value-based careOn November 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through CMS and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), issued two long... Read More

AACU Submits Comments on 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

posted: October 14, 2020
Proposed Rule an Overall Win for UrologyOn October 5, the AACU submitted a formal comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed 2021 Medicare Physician Fee... Read More

Urology Times: Pandemic Medical Liability Protections Considered by Congress

posted: October 12, 2020
“Lawmakers must prioritize medical liability protection and support health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Ross E. Weber of the AACU. Read More

Urology Times: States Strip Away Medical Liability Protections

posted: September 2, 2020
“Policymakers must be thoughtful and act in the public interest. That includes weighing the benefit of continued liability safeguards,” writes Ross E. Weber of the AACU. Read More

CA Urologists Take Action on Scope of Practice, Acquisitions

posted: August 17, 2020
This week, committees in the California State Legislature will consider two proposals that have a significant impact on the healthcare industry and patient safety. In both instances, physicians are... Read More

Specialty Societies Seek Stark Law and AKS Reform

posted: August 7, 2020
The AACU joined 18 other specialty societies on a letter to Administration officials urging them to finalize proposed rules that would modernize the Stark self-referral law and Anti-Kickback... Read More

CMS 2021 Medicare Payment Rules Released

posted: August 7, 2020
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its annual proposed rule that updates payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the... Read More

State Laws Impose Consent Standards for Physical Exams

posted: July 24, 2020
Starting in 2004, states began passing laws mandating consent standards for pelvic examinations under anesthesia. As of June 2020, 14 states have such laws (Fig. A), and 19 others considered new or... Read More

California Proposal Further Disadvantages Independent Practices

posted: July 24, 2020
Following the lead of several states including Connecticut and Washington, legislators in California are considering a bill to grant the state Attorney General absolute authority to cancel proposed... Read More

Urology Times: Virtual Advocacy: A Paradigm Shift for Urology

posted: July 16, 2020
“Virtual or in person, what matters is... bringing our specialty’s voice directly to the people who create and enforce the policies impacting our profession,” AACU State Advocacy... Read More

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Advocacy Priorities
  • Prostate Cancer Screening and Awareness

    Eliminating Misdiagnosis and Reducing Wasteful Medicare SpendingEvery 20 minutes an American man dies from prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that 161,360 men were told they have prostate cancer in 2017. Early detection is critical because research shows the five-year survival...

  • IPAB Repeal

    IPAB permanently repealed in a major victory for the AACU and urology communityThe AACU is pleased to report that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) included provisions to repeal the Independent Physicians Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel of unelected officials that had the...

  • Graduate Medical Education and Physician Workforce Shortage

    Ensuring a Well-Trained Physician Workforce Increase Federally Funded Physician Training ProgramsRequestUrologists urge Congress to acknowledge the importance of specialty medicine and address urological workforce shortages that jeopardize patient access to care. We urge lawmakers to support...

  • The Impact of Pharmacy Benefit Managers on Access to Affordable Treatment

    Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have a significant impact on prescription drug costs and the ability of patients to obtain the medications they need in a timely and affordable manner, and yet very little is known about their role. The AACU is dedicated to working with policymakers at both the...

  • Improve Preventive Task Force Recommendations, Preserve Access to Prostate Cancer Screening

    The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) plays a critical role in preventive care because its recommendations dictate what preventive services many health plans must provide without cost sharing. Currently, however, the USPSTF has little accountability. Task Force members are...

  • Medical Liability Reform: Protect Physician Volunteers During National Disasters

    Protection for Physician Disaster VolunteersClinical urologists urge support for the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2017, introduced in the House by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7) and in the Senate by Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA). This crucial legislation seeks to shield medical...

  • Modernize Law Restricting Coordinated Care (“Stark Law”)

    When Congress enacted the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, it replaced a fundamentally flawed reimbursement framework with a program promoting value-based care delivery. Value-based care, as measured by the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment...

  • Patients Over Paperwork: Reducing the Burden of Medicare Red Tape

    Urologists across the country treat a high volume of Medicare patients and therefore deal with the program’s numerous requirements and complex payment structures on a near daily basis. The AACU is dedicated to working with legislators and policymakers to identify ways to simplify and...

State Advocacy
  • Fair Contracting and Medical Practice Freedom

    Where We Stand Ensure openness and fairness in health care provider contacts. Prevent third-party payors from changing the terms of their provider contract without notice to the provider and without the consent of the provider. Ensure that physician licensure is based upon a physician's...

  • Medical Liability Reform — Expert Witness Qualifications

    Strengthen expert witness standards Ensure that expert witness is from the same specialty as the defendant physician Prevent frivolous lawsuits Improve the practice environment for physicians in your stateWhenever a physician’s conduct is being called into question, it is only fair...

  • Prostate Cancer Awareness & Assessment

    Where We Stand Continue the progress that has been made in the reduction of prostate cancer morbidity and mortality with the appropriate use of prostate cancer testing. Ensure that third-party payors provide for the reimbursement of prostate cancer testing when the patient and his physician...

  • Uniform Prior Authorization for Prescriptions and Health Services

    Where We Stand Prior authorizations cost the health system $728 million in 2012. Prior authorization requests must use a single form, no more than two pages in length. Forms must available for both access and submission electronically. Requests are deemed approved if no response is...

  • Work Force — Scope of Practice

    Where We Stand Allow the maximum patient-to-physician ratio to increase based on the number of physician assistants in a practice. Expand the ability of nurse practitioners and physician assistants to supervise medical assistants when doctors aren’t on the premises.Proactive Physician...

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