AACU News & Notes

Senate Takes Aim at Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ Role in Rising Drug Costs

posted: November 3, 2017
Amid concerns about the escalating cost of prescription drugs, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held hearings this summer to frame the Senate’s... Read More

Prominent Urologists Share Experience, Expertise at AACU Event

posted: November 2, 2017
A record number of urologists attended the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) 2018 State Society Network Advocacy Conference held Oct. 20-21. The inventive program included... Read More

AACU Supports Bill to Modernize Medicare Referral Law (Stark Law)

posted: November 2, 2017
In correspondence dated November 1, 2017, the AACU joined more than 20 organizations in support of H.R. 4206, the “Medicare Care Coordination Improvement Act of 2017.”Signatories detail... Read More

High-Stakes Tests on the Role of MOC, Do States Need to Step In?

posted: October 2, 2017
For years, many state medical boards, hospitals, and private payers have used specialty certification as a requirement for licensing, privileging, and network participation. Yet, through the years,... Read More

Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Approaching

posted: September 28, 2017
Any urologist participating in the Medicare Meaningful Use Electronic Health Record Incentive Program who is eligible for a hardship exception must submit an application no later than Sunday... Read More

QPP Implementation: CMS Begins to Listen

posted: August 30, 2017
For the better part of this year, efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have dominated the political arena and public discourse. But with all eyes on what ultimately proved to be a... Read More

AACU Participates in Medicare Red Tape Relief Project

posted: August 29, 2017
On August 25, the AACU submitted feedback to the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee as part of its participation in the Medicare Red Tape Relief Project. Under this new initiative, the... Read More

AACU Comments on CMS Proposed Updates to QPP in CY 2018

posted: August 22, 2017
On August 21, the AACU submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a proposed rule to update the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for the 2018 performance period.In... Read More

Telemedicine Policies Expand Access, Dictate Reimbursement

posted: July 6, 2017
While uncertainty surrounds the Affordable Care Act and its designated replacement, the American Health Care Act, lawmakers in Washington and around the country are pushing ahead with proposals to... Read More

Oregon to Allow Nurse Practitioners to Perform Vasectomies

posted: June 30, 2017
On June 20, 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) signed a bill into law to allow nurse practitioners to perform vasectomies.Supporters of the proposal assert that vasectomies are not qualitatively... 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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