Urology Times

Urology Times.Based on a partnership with Urology Times, articles from the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) provide updates on legislative processes and issues affecting urologists. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact the AACU government affairs office at (847) 517-1050 or info@aacuweb.org for more information.

Urology Times: Medicare Payment Proposal Shows Room for Improvement

posted: October 18, 2019
The agency proposes to add and re-value codes that account for complex care, expand reimbursement for telemedicine services, and simplify performance reporting requirements. Read More

Urology Times: Transition to Value-Based Care Requires MACRA Reform

posted: September 11, 2019
Congress must eliminate the scheduled 6-year payment freeze and make additional adjustments to MACRA to ensure physicians have the support they need to transition into the program, and so that... Read More

Urology Times: Residency Funding Urgently Needed to Address Work Force Shortage

posted: August 13, 2019
Federal policymakers nipped at the edges of the GME funding problem via appropriations to other agencies…but a few dozen slots here and there will not keep up with retirements and the health... Read More

Urology Times: Proposals to Mitigate “Surprise Billing” Affect All Physicians

posted: July 15, 2019
As a result, barely a week goes by without a congressional hearing on drug pricing or a state legislature considering how to shed light on the true cost of health care services. Read More

Urology Times: Urologist Advances in Race for U.S. Congress

posted: June 10, 2019
In an April 30 primary election, North Carolina urologist Greg Murphy, MD, came out on top of a crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination to run for a seat in Congress. Dr... Read More

Urology Times: Feds, Multiple States Take Aim at Prior Auth Requirements

posted: May 4, 2019
The administrative burden associated with payer relations and benefit management contributes to rising costs and, in many cases, affects patient care. Read More

Urology Times: Spring Brings Budget Cuts, Stark Debate, and Hope for GME

posted: April 12, 2019
The past month has been an active one for developments in Washington that impact health care, from proposed budget cuts to modernizing the Stark Law and boosting Graduate Medical Education funding. Read More

Urology Times: Telemedicine Policies Advance with Technology

posted: March 13, 2019
State lawmakers and federal regulators have taken significant steps in recent months to address conditions that restrict wide-spread integration of telemedicine into daily practice. Read More

Urology Times: Lawmakers Seek Solutions to Drug Pricing, Payer Paperwork

posted: February 20, 2019
The 116th Congress and state legislatures across the U.S. are making strides toward better access and affordability of drugs for patients. In just the first few weeks of the new Congress, several... 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

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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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