Five major legislative initiatives
In fact, one of five major legislative initiatives discussed during the summit and high on the AUA’s priority list was the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act, introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bobby Rush (D-IL).
That legislation would require the USPSTF to:
• publish research plans and make available reports on such evidence and recommendations for public comment
• ensure medical specialty physicians are consulted
• establish a stakeholders board to ensure input on developing, updating, publishing, and disseminating evidence-based recommendations
• codify the current grading system so it can’t be changed without review
• ensure that Medicare and other payers cannot deny payment for a preventive service solely based on the task force grade.
Other key public policy priorities for AUA discussed during those Capitol Hill meetings included:
Reducing the burden related to the use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). The AUA urged Congress to encourage the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to examine the cost of operating and upgrading CEHRT, including the financial and administrative burden on physician practices, hospitals, and health systems for routine upgrades and maintenance. The AUA also urged lawmakers to co-sponsor S.2059, the “EHR Regulatory Relief Act,” which would make permanent a 90-day reporting period for the Advancing Care Information performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and provide flexibility for scoring under that category.
Steps to alleviate the urologic work force shortage. Lawmakers were urged to co-sponsor the “Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act” (H.R.2267/S.1301) introduced by Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). That bill would increase the number of Medicare GME residency slots by 15,000 over the next 5 years, direct half of the newly available positions to training in shortage specialties, prioritize distribution of the new slots, and study strategies to increase the diversity of the health professional work force.
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