Practical concerns took center stage on day two of the conference. Burnout is well known to many urologists. What to do about it is another matter altogether. Panelists addressing this issue discussed innovative pay arrangements, integration of scribes and non-physician providers, and the importance of exercise. A moderated conversation on the changing landscape of urologic practice painted a picture of current trends and depicted a day in the life of a private practice, academic medical center, and VA physician. How to code in this changing environment was covered by a urologist turned consultant, Michael Ferragamo, MD.
The latest developments in the rollout of post-SGR Medicare payment programs naturally followed this discourse. Ted Long, MD, MHS, acting senior medical officer in CMS's Quality Measurement and Value-Based Incentives Group, eagerly shared information and welcomed questions on MACRA, MIPS, and more. In particular, participants and the presenter conferred on the 2018 payment program, quality measure development, and “pick your pace” options.
Clinical care topics were extensively covered and included prostate cancer genomics, active surveillance for prostate cancer, intravesical therapy for bladder cancer, surgical treatment of advanced renal cancer, and male health issues.
Several high-profile speakers, including North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (a urologist), former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD, and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) provided exclusive insight that placed the audience into the minds of those leaders who will determine urologists' place in the state and federal policy-making apparatus. A key takeaway from each of these respected legislators: Grassroots engagement, along the lines of the mobilizing activities undertaken by the AACU, is vitally important to inform the decisions of politicians and policymakers alike.
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