Bob Gatty
Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.
Committee seeks to ban concurrent surgeries
The practice of performing concurrent and overlapping surgeries in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers across the nation has come under scrutiny by the Senate Finance Committee, and hospitals and surgeons are on notice that some practices that may have been commonplace in the past need to change.
USPSTF reform: Will lame-duck Congress act?
Over the past several months leading up to the November presidential and congressional elections, organizations representing urology sought to persuade members of Congress to bring sense and reason to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which nearly 5 years ago gave a “D” rating to PSA-based screening for prostate cancer.
MedPAC talks cost cutting as IPAB looms
Two days of discussions at the Sept. 7 and 8 meetings of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission highlighted the difficulties and complexities that will face policymakers as they consider solutions to the financial crisis facing Medicare.
Congress seeks reform of self-referral law
A serious effort to reform the federal physician self-referral law (the Stark law) to reduce the regulatory burden imposed by the statute on medical practices is underway in Congress, and organizations representing urology are encouraging lawmakers to take action. But there is a key component of the law that the AUA and others want to be sure is not changed.
AUA, others continue blitz on USPSTF reform
The AUA and other organizations have been urging Congress to create transparency and accountability within the USPSTF while adding input and feedback from patients and specialists involved in treating the conditions for which it is developing recommendations.
GOP outlines proposal for replacing Obamacare
The 2016 Medicare trustees’ recent report that the Medicare trust fund will reach insolvency by 2028 is providing fodder for congressional Republicans who are pushing a plan to replace Obamacare, including numerous proposals that would dramatically change Medicare.
Organized medicine slams Part B pay plan
An Obama administration plan to reform Medicare Part B payment policy has generated a chorus of bipartisan opposition from influential lawmakers and many in the medical community, including a leading oncologist who told Congress the initiative is simply an effort to cut costs by accusing physicians of prescribing more expensive drugs for profit.
MACRA proposed rule brings new decisions
Urologists and other physicians who serve Medicare patients face some new decisions now that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed new regulations implementing last year’s fee schedule reform law, while also replacing the existing meaningful use program with a more flexible approach to technology and electronic health records.
CMS halts PSA quality measure—for now
As a result of strong opposition from organized medicine, including the AUA and patients, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has put on hold its development of a draft plan to penalize physicians for ordering “non-recommended” PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer.

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