Washington and You

VA: APRNs may practice without oversightIn the wake of heated criticism about lengthy wait times for veterans’ care at Veterans Health Administration hospitals, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has moved to allow advanced-practice registered nurses to practice to their full authority without physician oversight and regardless of individual state law in VA facilities.
Committee seeks to ban concurrent surgeriesThe 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.
MedPAC talks cost cutting as IPAB loomsTwo 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.
AUA, others continue blitz on USPSTF reformThe 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 ObamacareThe 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 planAn 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.
CMS halts PSA quality measure—for nowAs 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.
Politics may derail Obama’s cancer initiative
Groups urge increased focus on men’s healthA recent a White House Dialogue on Men’s Health brought together experts on men’s health from government, professional sports, nonprofit organizations, and health care, who together raised awareness of the need for increased focus on men’s health.
PSA access tops AUA legislative priority listAt the AUA, there is a list of 10 top priorities on which association lobbyists hope to gain traction.