State and federal initiatives are starting to address regulatory hurdles.
Health Policy Urology
Members of the urology community who participated in the Annual Urology Advocacy Summit in Washington early last month urged lawmakers to support initiatives to improve patient care, including in minority populations, increase support for urologic research, and ease regulatory burdens.
"In just the first few weeks of the new Congress, several bills have been introduced by legislators on both sides of the aisle addressing the issues of drug pricing and transparency," writes Heather Kazmark of the AACU.
With a long list of legislative priorities set for 2019, the AUA has established the AUA Political Action Committee to which members can contribute to help advance the association’s advocacy efforts in Washington.
Reversing a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to impose a nearly 30% reduction in 340B reimbursement rates, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has disappointed providers who believed that action was finally being taken to help control the cost of expensive physician-administered drugs.
"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 stand out," writes the AACU's Ross E. Weber.
As the new Congress, with the House of Representatives now controlled by Democrats, opens up shop this month, physicians—urologists included—will be looking for action on several key initiatives important to their practices and patients.
"To preserve a degree of competition within the industry, lawmakers and regulators have taken tentative steps to defend independent practice and patient-centered care, as well as ensure employed providers maintain fundamental rights," writes the AACU's Ross E. Weber.
Significant Medicare regulatory changes finalized in November will end legal incentives that have enabled hospitals to leverage Medicare payment policy to generate profits allowing them to acquire physician practices and gain competitive advantages in the health care marketplace.
“Existing Stark and associated fraud and abuse laws are one of the principal barriers to the development of [alternative payment models] and the advancement of value-based care,” says Gary M. Kirsh, MD.