Legislative Updates from the AACU

Telemedicine policies expand access, dictate reimbursement
Telemedicine policies expand access, dictate reimbursementTelemedicine may provide urologists with enhanced care and unique benefits—or risks—depending on the specifics of the laws that pass.
Drug importation: Shortsighted and ineffectiveWhile drug importation may sound like a good option to reduce drug costs, the potential can of worms it could create isn’t worth it, the AACU’s Ally Lopshire writes.
Policymakers consider intersex surgical standardsOrganizations that promote national medical policy standards and lawmakers in several states have recently considered proposals that would direct scrutiny upon surgical procedures undertaken in infancy to assign or confirm gender.
JAC 2017: IPAB repeal, liability reform see renewed focusTwo topics of particular relevance at the 2017 Joint Advocacy Conference were IPAB repeal and medical liability reform, both of which have legislative initiatives currently gaining momentum in Congress.
Inefficient payer approval processes fail patients, frustrate docs“Preauthorization has escalated beyond reason,” according to AACU President Charles McWilliams, MD.
Vasectomy scrutinized in contraception, scope of practice campaignsThe Affordable Care Act's controversial contraceptive coverage mandate requires most private health plans to provide cost-free coverage of female contraception. Reproductive health advocates in many states are pressing for new laws that include vasectomy in those covered services.
New HHS Secretary Dr. Price promises physician-friendly reformsTom Price, MD, would play a key role in repealing the Affordable Care Act and making significant changes to Medicare if confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Urologist elected to House, while docs’ numbers in Congress dropIn the 2016 elections, a urologist was elected to the House of Representatives but overall physician representation in Congress has declined to just 3%.
Update: States limit the role of specialty certificationResponding to physicians’ data-driven arguments, including a December 2014 JAMA study showing maintenance of certification (MOC) programs do not improve patient outcomes (JAMA 2014; 312:2348-57), state legislators proposed several new laws in 2016.
AACU conference assembles 'urology advocacy armada'Facing uncertainty in Medicare and increasing regulatory and insurer burdens, the leaders of organizations representing urologists across the country gathered in mid-August for the 9th Annual AACU State Society Network Advocacy Conference.