ASPS’s Role in the MACRA Rulemaking Process

Medical Innovation and Health IT

March 2016: In 2015, Congress passed landmark legislation repealing the deeply-flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). In its place, the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was passed. While this legislation worked its way through Congress, ASPS asked Congress questions targeted at ensuring that the legislation would achieve the admirable goal of providing true opportunities for improvements in quality of care and resource use, rather than becoming a series of meaningless steps that would not result in improvement for patients and would only serve to increase administrative burden.

Read More

Latest Legislation & Advocacy News

FEDERAL | Changes to the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule - A Plastic Surgery Perspective
Each July, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases proposed updates to the next year's Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, ASPS is working with CMS to ensure the changes made do not disadvantage plastic surgeons and their patients.
STATE | ASPS Brings State Plastic Surgery Leaders Together to Work to Defend the Specialty
During the recent ASPS State Partnership Program Biannual Physician Leadership Call, 39 physicians and staff from 21 state, local and regional societies discussed way to defend the specialty at their respective state capitols.
STATE | ASPS and CSPS Work to Amend CA Balance-Billing Legislation
ASPS and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons urged the state Senate to amend legislation that would implement a flawed fee schedule for out-of-network services provided at in-network facilities.
FEDERAL | ASPS Members Urge Congress to Oppose Burdensome Proposed Changes to Global Surgical Code Reporting
The recently released 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule included proposed burdensome new requirements for tracking pre- and post-op care. ASPS members sent 30 letters to their members of Congress asking them to pressure CMS reconsider.
STATE | ASPS and OVSPS Coordinate to Protect Plastic Surgeons’ Right to Reconstitute Drugs In-Office
ASPS and the Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons (OVSPS) have been working with the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (Board) in order to protect physicians’ rights to reconstitute drugs in-office. The Board has expressed a willingness to compromise.
STATE | Dentists Attempt to Administer Botox Cosmetic and Dermal Fillers in Nevada
The Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners has drafted a proposed rule that would allow dentists and dental hygienists to administer Botox and dermal fillers. ASPS is submitting comments requesting that they do not move forward.
FEDERAL | Congress Intensifies Oversight of the MACRA Implementation Process
Congress continues to pressure CMS to ensure that the MACRA law is implemented intelligently. With all of the issue that ASPS, specialty medicine and others have highlighted, delay is a possibility.
The New ASPS State Advocacy Grant Program: A Successful Inaugural Year
This year, ASPS launched a new grant program focused on supporting the advocacy efforts of our local, state and regional societies. The Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons, the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons and the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons are the first grant recipients, and they are working on issues facing plastic surgeons in their respective states.
AMA | Lynn Jeffers, MD, FACS Wins Election to the AMA’s Council on Medical Service
In June, Dr. Jeffers won a highly contested election to the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service. The Council drafts reports on issues facing organized medicine.
STATE | ASPS & NYSSPS Help Defeat Date of Discovery Bill
The New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons and ASPS helped defeat a measure in New York that would have expanded the date of discovery on medical liability claims to 10 years. This success was only possible after intense grassroots advocacy and direct engagement by NYSSPS leadership.
STATE | State Boards of Pharmacy Turn their Attention to Physician In-Office Compounding
As state pharmacy boards look to expand regulation and oversight of pharmaceutical compounding, they are viewing limiting physicians’ ability to compound and reconstitute drugs in-office. This month ASPS commented on proposed and enacted rules in North Dakota and Ohio, respectively.
STATE | ASPS and the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) Coordinate to Oppose Single Payer Legislation & Negative Medical Malpractice Reforms
ASPS and NYSSPS worked together to oppose legislation introduced in New York that would create a single payer health care system and bills that would provide plaintiffs with more time to file medical malpractice claims.
STATE | LA Governor Signs Breast Reconstruction Rights Bill into Law
Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards signed into law legislation that strengthens the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998. ASPS and the Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons strongly supported this measure.
FEDERAL | Song Presents on Breast Reconstruction & BCPEA at the Capitol
ASPS President David Song, the Society for Women’s Health Research and the American College of Radiology briefed members of the breast cancer community and congressional staff on the importance of breast reconstruction and implementing the BCPEA.
FEDERAL | ASPS Urges Congress to Ask CMS to Withdraw New Rule on Part B Payment Models
ASPS and 315 organizations submitted a letter to Congressional leadership requesting that they urge CMS to withdraw its proposed rule on the new Medicare Part B Payment Model.
FEDERAL | Specialty Medicine Expresses Concerns Over New CMS Requirements for Part B Drugs
ASPS and the Alliance of Specialty Medicine expressed concerns over a CMS proposed rule that would require provider affiliation disclosures and enrollment in Medicare to prescribe, order, refer or certify for Part B drugs, DME, and other services.
FEDERAL | Senate Wrapping Up Work on Innovations Legislation
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee just concluded a series of hearings on medical innovation legislation. These bills, referred to as Senate Innovations, are anticipated to reach the Senate floor soon.
STATE | ASPS State Advocacy Grants Update
ASPS’s first State Advocacy Grants cycle ends in June. State, regional and local plastic surgery societies still have time to apply, but time is running out.
FEDERAL | ASPS Continues to Advocate for Provider Friendly MACRA Rules
On April 19, Congress held a second hearing regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA) rulemaking process. ASPS, through the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, testified on their efforts to prepare for MACRA.
PlastyPAC | PlastyPAC Sees Unprecedented Success During the First Quarter
PlastyPAC kicked off 2016 with the highest first quarter contributions in over a decade, bringing in $107,000 during the three-month period. The Board of Governors recognizes those members who contributed to our success.
STATE | Connecticut Legislature Looks at Repealing ASC Tax
Last year, as Connecticut was determining how to fix its budget shortfall, they imposed a six percent tax on Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC). This session, many legislators are eyeing ways to repeal it.
FEDERAL | ASPS’s Role in the MACRA Rulemaking Process
On March 17, the House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health conducted a hearing examining how CMS was implementing the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Before this hearing, ASPS and the Alliance for Specialty Medicine posed questions to the subcommittee members and staff focusing on making sure physician specialists are able to meaningfully participate.
ASPS Pushes HHS to Implement the BCPEA
ASPS formally offered our assistance and expertise to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary Burwell as the Department develops patient education materials following the passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act.
Maryland Works to Improve Facility Accreditation Standards for Cosmetic Procedures
The Maryland Society of Plastic Surgeons has been working closely with ASPS to advance legislation that would close a loop hole on performing cosmetic procedures under local anesthesia by improving required facility accreditation standards.
ASPS’s State Partnership Program Supports Plastic Surgery Societies Throughout the Country
This January, ASPS introduced the new State Partnership Program, which aims to better support local, state and regional plastic surgery societies as they face challenges in both advocacy and daily society administration.
STATE | ASPS Works to Ensure Appropriate Esthetician Scope of Practice in Arizona
ASPS helped pass an important patient safety provision in the Arizona House of Representatives that will ensure that cosmetologists and estheticians use lasers safely.
STATE | ASPS Takes a Strong Stance Against APRN Independent Practice
ASPS and its state and regional plastic surgery society partners are engaging across the country to protect patients by opposing APRN scope expansion.
STATE | ASPS Fights Optometric Scope Expansion
ASPS partnered with plastic surgeons in Delaware, Iowa and Alaska to fight attempts by optometrists to expand their scope of practice.
FEDERAL | GOP Refuses to Appoint Scalia’s Replacement
In the wake of Justice Scalia’s unexpected death, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the GOP have vowed to block any replacement nomination prior to the November election.
FEDERAL | Senate Focuses on Medical Innovation and Health IT
The Senate HELP Committee held the first in a series of meetings to consider legislative proposals that can support medical advancement.
ASPS Launches New State Advocacy Grant Program
ASPS stands ready to financially support the advocacy goals of its local, state and regional plastic surgery society partners.
ACA Repeal Passes Congress, Vetoed by President
For the first time, Congress sends legislation to the President repealing the Affordable Care Act.
STATE | ASPS and FSPS Work Together to Protect Hair Restoration Patients
ASPS is working with the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons (FSPS) to advance legislation that would prevent unlicensed technicians from performing hair restorations and transplants in Florida.
STATE | ASPS Supports Plastic Surgery Societies through new Program
ASPS rolls out a new State Partnership Program in an effort to provide local, state and regional plastic surgery affiliates with greater support for their society and its advocacy efforts.
ASPS Prepares to Launch New State Advocacy Grant Program
ASPS stands ready to financially support its local, state and regional plastic surgery society partners as they advocate on key issues.
ASPS Launches New Program with State, Regional and Local Societies
ASPS connects with state, regional and local plastic surgery societies to provide greater support for state-level advocacy efforts.
ASPS Acts in Massachusetts to Protect Plastic Surgeons
ASPS continues to battle in Massachusetts to fend off certificate of need requirements for office based surgery and to advocate for the development of meaningful, adequate and relevant insurance physician quality measures.
Congress Adjourns for 2015 Following Passage of the 2016 Omnibus Package
Congress successfully avoids another government shutdown through passage of a fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus spending package.
ASPS Secures Passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA)
After implementing a multi-year targeted lobbying campaign, ASPS has secured passage of the BCPEA. The passage of this bill is a huge victory for patients facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
ASPS Strongly Supported MU Hardship Exemption Signed by President Obama
ASPS lobbied Congress on the Meaningful Use hardship exemption, President Obama signed into law on December 28, 2015.
Congress Approves Bill Repealing Much of the ACA
On December 3, the Senate cleared legislation through the fast-track budget tool known as reconciliation to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
ASPS and Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons testify on Board Certification
Plastic surgery came out in full force to battle back against an ABCS request for equivalency
Massachusetts Considers TIA, Definition of Surgery and APN Independent Practice Bills
ASPS had a strong presence at hearing of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health, where ASPS supported truth in advertising legislation and a definition of surgery bill, while opposing APNs independent practice.
Price Increases for ASCs, But No Decrease in Hospital Outpatient Prices
ASPS supports a legislative fix that addresses key study findings
Number of Medical School Students Increases
There are record numbers students enrolling in medical schools, but where will they train?
Congress Considers Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation
Republicans face numerous hurdles as they work to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act through the budget process of reconciliation.
Brady to Assume Ways and Means Chairmanship
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) takes over as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, replacing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis).
House Works to Find Next Speaker
As Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly dropped out of the race for speaker of the House, Republican leadership tries to find a new candidate who can unite the party.
Obama Signs First ACA Repeal Through Small Employer Legislation
President Obama signed the first repeal of any ACA provision through the rollback of the small insurance markets rule, which was slated to go into effect in 2016.
Agreement in Principle Reached on Biologic Drug Patents
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reached a compromise that would grant five years of data patent protections for the makers of biologic drugs before other companies can start producing biosimilars.
Meaningful Use Final Rules Released
CMS released final rules for Meaningful Use while ignoring Congressional pressure to delay the implementation of Stage 3.
Reconciliation Advanced by House Budget Committee
The House approved a reconciliation bill that would partially repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Avoid Government Shutdown
Congress passed a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, but must readdress the budget before mid-December.
Biosimilar Update: Senate Hearing With FDA & Legislation in California
Both the federal and state governments have been actively concerned about the use, substitution and implementation of biosimilars. Read more about the Senate hearing with the FDA and state biosimilar legislation in California.
ASPS Stops Harmful Louisiana Board Equivalency Regulation
Working in close concert with leadership at the Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS successfully rallied its partners in the Truth in Advertising Coalition to stop the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) from advancing a draft regulation that would have allowed substandard certifying bodies – most notably the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) – to be deemed equivalent to American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certifying boards.
Senate Urges Stage 3 Delay
Senate HELP Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), has formally requested that CMS delay Stage 3 implementation and ease current Stage 2 rules.
Examining the Doctor Shortage Across the Country
While the Northeast continues to recruit students to fill their abundance of residency slots, other states fall behind and lose needed physicians due to insufficient residency slots.
Legislation Providing Meaningful Use Relief to ASC-based Providers Passes Senate
The Electronic Health Fairness Act, which would exempt patient encounters in Ambulatory Surgery Centers from counting toward thresholds for meaningful use of electronic health records, has now passed in both houses of Congress.
ASPS Efforts on BCPEA are Generating Record Support
Following meetings by ASPS members during its June Fly-In and sustained outreach by ASPS’s federal lobbyists at Hart Health Strategies, the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act has hit a high-water mark for support in the House.
ASPS Successful in Reducing Negative Effects in Oregon Esthetician Scope of Practice Bill
Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently signed into law a bill that will expand Esthetician scope of practice in the state. ASPS was successful in limiting the bill’s original ambition.
21st Century Cures Heads to the Senate
The House approved H.R.6, the 21st Century Cures Act. ASPS supports this legislation, which will improve the discovery, development, and delivery of medicines and medical devices to patients.
ACA Repeal Would Cost $353 Billion
The Congressional Budget Office assessed the financial implications of repealing the Accordable Care Act and determined that repeal would increase the budget deficit by $353 billion over the next decade.
Update: New Tax on Cosmetic Medical Procedures Removed From Maine’s Budget Proposals
Thanks in part to an ASPS-led coalition of 13 medical organizations, language which would expand Maine's sales tax to include taxes on cosmetic medical procedures has been removed from the budget.
Fly-In Gains 4 New BCPEA Cosponsors
As a direct result of the Midwest/ Southeast Regional Fly-In on June 2-3, 2015, The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2015 (H.R.2540/S.1192) gained four new cosponsors in the House.
Truth-in-Advertising and “Surgery by Surgeons” Legislation Introduced in Pennsylvania
As many other states’ legislatures adjourn, legislators in Pennsylvania continue to introduce legislation as their session advances. This past week, ASPS submitted written testimony in support of two bills that seek to place important protections on patient safety in the state.
New York Legislature Considers Changes to Licensing and Advertising Rules
The New York Assembly’s Higher Education Committee is currently considering two bills which ASPS is preparing to comment on.
UPDATE: IPAB Repeal Passes the House
The House approved the repeal of IPAB by a vote of 244-154. ASPS strongly supports this bill, as IPAB has the ability to threaten provider reimbursements without ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries receive quality care from skilled providers.
Senate Introduces ASPS Breast Cancer Awareness Bill
On May 5, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced S.1192, the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA) of 2015.
Oregon House Health Care Committee Passes Dangerous Esthetician Scope Expansion Bill
In Oregon, the House Health Care Committee recently voted to pass an amended version of a bill, HB 2642, that would increase esthetician scope of practice. ASPS assisted in amending the measure to place stronger restrictions on the types of procedures that estheticians can perform with lasers.
Onerous OBS Rules Removed From New York State Budget
Thanks to combined advocacy efforts, Assembly Bill 3007 in New York has been amended to remove onerous requirements for office-based surgery facilities.
PlastyPac Thanks Contributors for Strong First Quarter
PlastyPAC kicked off 2015 with a highly successful mail campaign, bringing in $47,762.17 in March alone.
ASPS Supports Legislation for Graduate Medical Education
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons sent a letter of support to Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) regarding her legislation, the Creating Access to Residency Education Act of 2015 (H.R.1117).
ASPS Supports Ambulatory Surgery Center Legislation
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons sent a letter of support to Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) regarding her legislation, the Creating Access to Residency Education Act of 2015 (H.R.1117).
Mastectomy Coverage Bills Trending
In both Maine and Massachusetts, ASPS has seen legislation that would mandate certain coverage for breast cancer patients.
Provision in New York Legislation Could Adversely Affect Office-Based Surgery Practices
In a letter to the New York Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, ASPS voiced its opposition with a portion of the state’s budget bill which would have a significant impact on office-based surgery (OBS) facilities.
Supreme Court Ruling Affects How State Licensing Board Operate
Late last month the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission case which could change how state licensing boards operate across the country.
FDA Approves First Biosimilar
On March 6, 2015, FDA approved the first biosimilar: Zarxio, a copy of Neupogen (filgrastim).
Estheticians Look to Expand Scope in Oregon
At the beginning of the State’s legislative session in January, estheticians in Oregon introduced House Bill 2642 which would allow certified laser estheticians to perform laser procedures without physician supervision.
Connecticut Seeks to Define Surgery via Legislation
A bill introduced by Connecticut State Representative Prasad Srinivasan would add a statutory definition of surgery to the State’s code.
Indiana Truth-in-Advertising Bill Moves Forward
Thanks to an extremely coordinated effort led by the Washington State Medical Association, ASPS and a variety of other medical associations were able to successfully ensure that a potentially dangerous bill does not move further this session.
Washington Dentistry Scope of Practice Expansion Thwarted
Thanks to an extremely coordinated effort led by the Washington State Medical Association, ASPS and a variety of other medical associations were able to successfully ensure that a potentially dangerous bill does not move further this session.
CMS Administrator Tavenner and FDA Commissioner Hamburg to Step Down
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced plans to resign at the end of February.
President’s FY 2016 Budget Released
On February 2, 2015, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget. The fiscal blueprint for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, 2015 proposes spending $4 trillion and projects revenues of $3.53 trillion, leaving a deficit of $474 billion.
Affordable Care Act Legislative Updates
Since the start of the 114th Congress, lawmakers have considered a number of bills to alter the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Hold SGR Hearing
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held its first hearing of the 114th Congress titled “A Permanent Solution to the SGR: The Time is Now.” Witnesses included the American Medical Association (AMA), AARP, and a thoracic surgeon, among others.
OMB Announces No Sequester This Year
As expected, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has confirmed that no sequestration of discretionary spending will be required this year.
ASPS Comments on 21st Century Cures Discussion Draft
ASPS submitted comments last week to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on several provisions included in draft legislative language released as part of the 21st Century Cures Initiative. ASPS wrote in support of several components that will benefit its members and plastic surgery patients.
CMS Moves to Eliminate 10- and 90-Day Surgical Global Periods in Medicare
In the calendar year 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its proposal to transition 10- and 90- day global surgical codes to 0-day globals.
ASPS Comments on NAIC’s Model Regulation
In response to concerns regarding exchange plans implementing narrow networks, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) formed a workgroup to create a Model Regulation for adoption by states to address this issue.
ASPS Responds to Congressional Open Letter on GME
ASPS has responded to an Open Letter sent by the House Energy and Commerce Committee requesting information on graduate medical education (GME).
California Limits Application of Medical Liability Damage Cap
The Supreme Court of California has held that in medical professional negligence cases, the noneconomic damages cap applies only to “judgments,” or the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff determined in court but does not apply to settlements.
ASPS Comments on FDA Same Surgical Procedure Guidance
ASPS has submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the draft guidance document titled “Same Surgical Procedure Exception Questions and Answers Regarding the Scope of the Exception” released in October 2014.
FY 2015 Cromnibus Paves the Way for the 114th Congress
The 114th Congress convened on January 6. The Republican majority has stated its intent to return to “regular order.” Regular order would involve the passage of individual spending bills through a process that has been absent in recent years.
House and Senate Pass Cromnibus Spending Bill
Before adjourning for the year, the House and the Senate passed H.R. 83, referred to as the Cromnibus (i.e., combined continuing resolution and omnibus appropriations bill).
Senate Closes Out 113th Congress With Passage of Tax Extenders
Before adjourning the 113th Congress, the Senate sent to the president for his signature H.R. 5771, which would extend various tax provisions through December 31, 2014.
Health Care Issues to Follow in 2015
Republican control of both the House and the Senate has the potential to change the dynamic on a number of major health care issues in the 114th Congress.
Update: 21st Century Cures Reported Out of Committee
Following a year of roundtables, hearings, and bipartisan negotiations, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously 51-0 to approve H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act.
NAIC Considers Network Adequacy Standards
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is currently in the process of updating its Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Model Act for the first time since 1996.
Illinois Fails to Pass State Health Exchange
The veto session in Illinois has ended as House Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned his chamber on Wednesday Dec. 4, meaning that no other measures will be heard until the Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is seated.
Congressional Push for Lame Duck Medicare SGR Repeal
With only a short time remaining before Congress adjourns for the year, there is considerable support for repealing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment formula before the end of the 113th Congress.
114th Congress Leadership and Committee Chairmen Announced
House Republicans have chosen their committee chairmen for the 114th Congress, and Democrats have selected most ranking members.
Ways and Means Propose Site Neutral Hospital Prospective Payment System
The House Ways and Means Committee released a bipartisan draft bill, the Hospitals Improvement for Payment (HIP) Act, on November 19 in response to the Committee’s concerns regarding Medicare’s two-midnights policy for determining inpatient stays, short inpatient stays, outpatient observation stays, as well as concerns related to auditing and appeals.
California Prop 46 Defeated by 2-to-1 Margin
Thanks to a broad coalition of doctors, community health centers, hospitals and other groups including ASPS, California’s Proposition 46 was greatly defeated on Election Day.
GOP Wave Stuns State Democrats in 2014 Midterms
While it was a great day for Republicans in Congress, it is quickly becoming more visible that their recent electoral victories reach much farther than Capitol Hill.
New Interstate Compact Hoping to Ease Bureaucratic Requirements
In 2015, many state legislators will consider adopting new rules for telemedicine in hopes of increasing access to healthcare.
2014 Midterm Election Results and Impact
The Republican Party has gained control of the Senate and expanded its majority in the House of Representatives following Tuesday’s midterm elections.
CMS Unveils Open Payments Search Tool
A more user-friendly search tool was recently added to the CMS Open Payments website.
2014 California Session Draws to an End
California legislators tried to quickly move measures through their respective chambers before adjournment of the 2014 session. Here is a roundup of some recent legislative happenings in the state.
ASPS Opposes Proposed Open Payments Changes for CME
The Open Payments website is scheduled to go live on September 30, publicly reporting data on value transfers from industry to physicians. An area exempted from public reporting is transfers of value for continuing medical education (CME) events.
ASPS Comments on Medicare Waste, Fraud and Abuse Language
House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) released draft legislative language aimed at reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare. One section would require prior authorizations for all blepharoplasty and eyebrow lift procedures.
Private Payers Will Publish Healthcare Prices
Three major health insurance companies have agreed to publish their healthcare prices in a free online portal starting next year.
Truth-in-Advertising Legislation in Pennsylvania Advances
House Bill 2061, introduced by Representative Bryan Cutler, passed unanimously through the Committee on Health in the Pennsylvania House during the last week of June 2014.
Breast Cancer Patient Education a Growing Trend Among State Legislatures
This legislative session, breast cancer patient education legislation has been a trend among state legislatures.
Mandated Insurance Coverage for Treatment of Transgender Individuals in DC
Washington, DC health insurance providers must cover treatments for individuals with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, according to a statement released by the Executive Office of Mayor Vincent C. Gray.
Georgia Legislation to Address Physician Profiling
Senator McKoon of the 29th District in Georgia has introduced legislation (SB 173) to address physician profiling, a potentially new state/federal issue.
ASPS Working to Make Arizona Truth-in-Advertising Bill More Substantive
While there are a number of states with Truth-in-Advertising legislation, in Arizona, legislative action is already moving forward. Senator Unfortunately, the board certification language in this bill is rather weak.
Alabama Breast Cancer Patient Education Law in Effect
The Alabama Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2013 (S.B. 22), which was signed into law earlier this year by Governor Robert Bentley, became effective Aug. 1, 2013.
California Truth-in-Advertising Bill Sidelined for Remainder of Session
Despite strong coalition efforts from the California Society of Plastic Surgeons and various other groups, California A.B. 916 was pulled off the agenda of the Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development and will not move any further this session.
Legislation Introduced to Protect Physicians and Patients in Medicare Advantage
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act, aimed at protecting physicians and patients in Medicare Advantage (MA) from narrowing networks.
Clinical Guideline Protection Legislation Introduced
On February 27, 2014, Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY-6) and Ami Bera, MD (D-CA-7) introduced legislation for the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines that could provide limited ‘safe harbor’ protections for physicians.
Legislation to Protect Physician in Negotiations with Insurers Introduced
Representatives John Conyers (D-MI-13) and Dan Benishek, MD (R-MI-1) have introduced the Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 2014, which provides limited antitrust protections for physicians in negotiations with private insurance companies.
Medicare Releases Billing Data for Physicians
A long standing Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that barred the release of information about the dollars paid to individual physicians was recently lifted, allowing the Agency to publicly share information on the number and types of services submitted to and paid by Medicare.
Legislation to Expand Trauma Definition Passed through Subcommittee
The Improving Trauma Care Act of 2013 (H.R. 3548) passed through the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on February 27, 2014.
ASPS Joins Effort for Sunshine Act Reforms
ASPS joined with 25 other physician specialty societies and industry trade associations to send a letter to the CMS regarding shared concerns about the implementation of the Sunshine Act provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Phase 2 of Open Payments Registration Now Open
On June 1, registration for the Open Payments website through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opened for physicians and teaching hospitals.
Cosmetic Tax Sunsets in New Jersey
For the first time in 10 years, plastic surgeons in New Jersey are no longer collecting cosmetic taxes.
2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule and it contains some potentially troubling provisions for plastic surgeons.
New Office-Based Surgery Regulations in Arkansas
The Arkansas State Medical Board has released its final set of rules for surgeries performed in an office-based setting.
Optometrist Scope of Practice Legislation Threatens Patient Safety in California
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule and it contains some potentially troubling provisions for plastic surgeons.
IOM Releases Much Anticipated GME Report
On July 29, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its long awaited report on the future of graduate medical education (GME) funding.
Governor Quinn Signs Breast Cancer Patient Education Bill in Illinois
On Aug. 16, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation (H.B. 3175) that will help ensure breast cancer patients are informed of their reconstructive options.