Legislative efforts evolve in time of great change

May 1, 2006

In 2007, physicians will face another cut in Medicare payment ifCongress fails to act.

The AUA Government Affairs department has opened an office on Capitol Hill in addition to its office at AUA headquarters in Baltimore. This allows AUA staff to work more closely with congressional committees and staff as well as other specialties and coalitions. In Baltimore, AUA also has created an office of Reimbursement and Regulatory Affairs, which will provide more assistance and advocacy in the area of third-party payment while continuing to represent urology at the AMA Relative Value Update Committee and the CPT Editorial Panel.

Major legislative priorities in 2006 include the following:

In the area of practice management, AUA's Practice Managers' Network continues to grow, with over 1,000 practices subscribing to the online monthly communication about issues and problems raised by practice managers. A new resource is AUA Coding Today, the online reference and education database with complete CPT and ICD-9 codes, current CCI bundling status, Medicare fees by geographic locality, and local medical review policies.

We do all this with help from AUA members at all levels. More voices and your input are always needed to make our case.

Dr. Gee, a member of the Urology Times Editorial Council and current AUA treasurer, is in private practice in Lexington, KY.