Bob Gatty
Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.
Feds: Jury awards are to blame for insurance hikes
Washington-Congress has been told by its chief investigative agency that increasing medical liability awards, indeed, are contributing to skyrocketing premium costs for many physicians, but that fact is not having a widespread impact on patients' access to health care.
CMS proposal will cut reimbursement levels by 4.2%
Separate proposed rule addresses overpayment of physician-administered chemotherapy
Report calls for change in NIH organizational structure
Consolidating research institutions would improve collaboration and data sharing
Democrats strike blow to medical liability legislation

Washington-It's the insurance industry against the trial lawyers, the Republicans against the Democrats. And urologists, like other physicians, are caught in the middle.

On July 9, Senate Democrats blocked White House-supported legislation to limit damage awards in medical liability lawsuits, charging that efforts by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD (R-TN), to force a vote on the issue were political and designed to restore Republican influence with physicians. Dr. Frist pulled the bill after a motion to take up the bill fell 11 votes shy of the 60 needed to cut off a Democratic filibuster.

Reform of policy on cancer drug pay gains momentum
Washington-As Congress moves toward possible approval of a new prescription drug program for Medicare recipients later this summer, determination of payments for cancer drugs and therapeutic services may well hang in the balance.
Parties disagree on prescription drug coverage plans
Washington-While leaders of both political parties say they want to provide Medicare patients with meaningful coverage for prescription drug expenses, major philosophical differences threaten to make that objective extremely difficult to achieve.
Legislation calls for new urology division within NIH
House approves national liability insurance bill; CMS outlines changes in Medicare
Physicians may face 4.4% Medicare reduction in 2003
Fee schedule will apply endoscopic reduction rules to cystoscopy and other CPT codes
Medicare outpatient fee set to increase 6% in 2003
But new rate schedule will reduce reimbursement for some drugs, devices, and procedures
Government warns drug makers to maintain compliance
OIG document says some drug marketing practices may violate anti-kickback statute