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    SCAI Advocacy Newsletter

    June 21, 2019

    SCAI is dedicated to advocating on behalf of our members. It is important that SCAI brings the needs and interests of our members to policymakers to facilitate changes that will positively impact our profession. This newsletter highlights the advocacy efforts of SCAI to date.

     

    Physician Reimbursement

    The SCAI Advocacy Committee and leadership team work tirelessly to help our members with reimbursement issues. The Advocacy Committee proposes changes that support the efforts of our members to the American Medical Association (AMA) RVS Update Committee (RUC), which provides medicine a voice in shaping Medicare relative values.

    The RUC is a unique multi-specialty committee dedicated to describing the resources required to provide physician services which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) considers in developing Relative Value Units (RVUs). Although the RUC provides recommendations, CMS makes all final decisions about Medicare payments.

    The SCAI Advocacy Committee also works with the CPT Editorial Panel, which is responsible for maintaining the CPT code set. The panel is authorized by the AMA Board of Trustees to revise, update, or modify CPT codes, descriptors, rules, and guidelines. SCAI represents our physicians to make sure that the CPT codes are clearly defined and represent our members and the work they perform.

    SCAI works daily to ensure that interventional cardiologists have a voice at the decision-making table when it comes to coding procedures and reimbursement.

     

    Partnerships

    SCAI partners with the Alliance of Specialty Medicine Committee to attend meetings with key congressional representatives. SCAI will participate in the next Alliance Fly-In on July 15-17, 2019. These meetings are important as they help our advocacy team build relationships with congressional leaders and their staff and provide information on the needs of our members.

    SCAI is proud to also partner with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. It is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. Through strategic communications and policy advocacy campaigns, SCAI supports the adoption of proven solutions that are most effective at reducing tobacco use and save the most lives. SCAI has signed on to many comment letters to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies that provide guidance on regulating cigarettes and other products that are harmful to heart health.

     

    Legislative Updates

    The SCAI Advocacy Committee regularly tracks legislative updates to ensure that our member perspectives are appropriately represented. Some updates have included:

    • Physician Disclosure – Bipartisan leadership of the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlining concerns about physicians who fail to disclose when they have a financial stake in the medical devices that are supplied to their practices.
    • Stark Law Update – HHS Secretary Alex Azar suggested that laws which prohibit providers from having a financial stake in the entities to which they refer patients are hindering the advancement of value-based care and supports updating the 30-year-old anti-kickback statute known as the Stark Law.
    • Patent Reform – Lawmakers released a bipartisan, bicameral legislative framework for reform of Section 101 of U.S. patent law, which determines patent eligibility. The framework would eliminate the requirement that any invention or discovery be both “new and useful.”
    • Medicaid Supplemental Payments – The Senate Finance Committee released a majority staff report on the issue of Medicaid supplemental payments. The report calls for improved education and transparency to ensure that taxpayer dollars being used for Medicaid supplemental payments are spent appropriately and effectively. It urges the collection of non-disproportionate share hospital supplemental payment data at the provider level.
    • Stopping the Outrageous Practice (STOP) of Surprise Bills Act of 2019 – The Alliance Steering Committee (to which SCAI is a partner) advocated for this bipartisan Senate Bill that prohibits surprise billing for patients while redirecting focus on narrow specialty provider networks believed to the primary force driving this issue. The bill provides practical solutions and protections to patients and providers establishing a minimum payment standard set at the median contracted (in-network) rate for the services in the geographic area the service was delivered while preserving a state’s ability to determine their payment standards for plans regulated by the state.

     

    Donate to SCAI-PAC

    By contributing to SCAI-PAC, you provide important resources that will help move initiatives forward that benefit our field and our patients. SCAI-PAC is the only unified voice for interventional and invasive cardiologists in Congress. YOUR support is a critical investment in YOUR specialty’s future. Please consider donating today.

    Contact SCAI If you have questions or suggestions for the SCAI Advocacy Committee or would like more information about an issue, please don’t hesitate to contact SCAI Director of Reimbursement and Regulatory Affairs, Dawn Gray at dgray@scai.org.