AACU News & Notes

GME Funding Bill Re-Introduced

posted: February 7, 2019
The number of Medicare-funded residency positions has been frozen since 1997, when the Balanced Budget Act limited payments at 1996 levels. The AACU has long-advocated for improvements to the... Read More

2019 State of the Union Addresses Transparency, Rx Costs

posted: February 6, 2019
President Trump devoted considerable attention to healthcare issues in his second State of the Union address, delivered Tuesday, February 5. Speaking about the administration’s early... Read More

State Advocacy Network Chair Lobbies in Richmond

posted: February 5, 2019
On January 31 in Richmond, Virginia, AACU State Advocacy Network Chair Bill Reha, MD, MBA, joined more than 100 doctors, PAs, and medical students on visits with over 65 legislators to advocate for... Read More

Urology Times: Priorities Reflect Systemic Change, Shifting Centers of Power

posted: January 16, 2019
Surveying the landscape as leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives swaps parties and governorships creep toward a 50/50 partisan balance, several opportunities to affect positive change... Read More

Urology Times: Merger Mania Requires Protections for Patients, Providers

posted: January 3, 2019
Promises of price reductions and cost savings [associated with healthcare industry mergers] have yet to be realized and as more insurers and hospital systems are gobbled up by larger entities, care... Read More

AACU Opposes Proposal to Complicate Part B Drug Pricing

posted: January 2, 2019
The AACU, in association with the Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), recently commented on a CMS proposal that would benchmark Medicare Part B drug prices against... Read More

Late Legislation Addresses Prior Auth, Medicare Risk Sharing

posted: December 18, 2018
In the final weeks of the 115th Congress several Members who serve on a key committee introduced legislation to mitigate administrative burdens. This action suggests similar bills will be... Read More

AACU Calls for Permanent Repeal of Medical Device Tax

posted: December 13, 2018
The AACU and more than 140 other organizations signed a letter December 5, 2018, to promote the repeal of the Medical Device Tax. This past July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a... Read More

Policy-Making Meeting of the AMA Results in Win for Pediatric Patients and Families

posted: November 21, 2018
AACU Delegate Richard Pelman, MD, and Alternate Delegate Patrick McKenna, MD, FAAP, FACS were joined by colleagues representing the AUA, as well as the delegates of more than 170 state and... Read More

Medicare Payment Reform Promotes Equity Between Practice Settings

posted: November 19, 2018
The executive and legislative branches each have a snappy label for their efforts to alleviate administrative burdens related to payer relations. Information has been requested and hearings have... 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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