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.

Tax Law May Threaten Medicare, Provider Pay

posted: January 22, 2018
Congress ended 2017 with its first big legislative win for the Trump administration: passing a sweeping tax bill that promises the biggest reform to the U.S. tax program in over 30 years. But... Read More

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

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

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

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

Drug Importation: Shortsighted and Ineffective

posted: June 5, 2017
After storming onto the scene following a few highly publicized controversies, the cost of prescription drugs continues to be at the forefront of the health care debate in America, and for good... Read More

Policymakers Consider Intersex Surgical Standards

posted: May 5, 2017
Proposals to regulate treatment of sex development differences threaten to further confuse patients and physicians. Too often, urologists fail to make their voices heard when policymakers consider... Read More

JAC 2017: IPAB Repeal, Liability Reform See Renewed Focus

posted: April 4, 2017
Earlier this month, the AACU and AUA held yet another successful annual Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC) in Washington. The conference featured presentations and panels on a host of... Read More

Inefficient Payer Approval Processes Fail Patients, Frustrate Docs

posted: March 1, 2017
Prior authorization. Preauthorization. Prior approval. Pre-approval. No matter what you call it, these "utilization management" schemes that consume more and more of urologists' days... Read More

Vasectomy Scrutinized in Contraception, Scope of Practice Campaigns

posted: January 31, 2017
The Affordable Care Act's controversial contraceptive coverage mandate requires most private health plans to provide cost-free coverage of all FDA-approved methods of contraception used by... 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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