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    PSA access tops AUA legislative priority list

    USPSTF reform, addressing work force among other goals

    Bob GattyWashingtonThe AUA and virtually every other medical organization has an interesting challenge in 2016: how to attract attention and political support on key issues that could affect physicians and patients for many years, far beyond the 2016 elections that will consume lawmakers in the months ahead.

    READ: AUA lobbies USPSTF on draft research plan

    At the AUA, there is a list of 10 top priorities on which association lobbyists hope to gain traction, realizing that lawmakers’ time and attention spans are even shorter than usual, condensed by the calendar as election campaigns move into high gear, especially when the August recess begins.

    “A lot of our prime time to meet with congressional figures and try to make our point will be between now and the August recess,” observed James Ulchaker, MD, chair of the AUA’s Legislative Affairs Committee. “And after Labor Day, everybody is going to be in election mode.”

    The legislative priorities approved by the AUA Board of Directors are:

    • Preserve access to appropriate PSA screening.

    • Reform the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation process.

    • Preserve the use of the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE) to the Stark law when appropriate.

    • Address work force shortages in all urologic practice environments, preserve access to timely and appropriate care, and advocate for increased graduate medical education funding and resources for urology positions.

    • Minimize the negative impact of meaningful use/EHR regulations.

    • Address the 90-day grace period for recipients of advanced payments in the health insurance marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act.

    • Promote urology/cancer research funding.

    • Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) or modify the current law to provide for congressional oversight of its decisions, appointment of practicing physicians, and review by medical specialty societies.

    • Promote medical liability reform.

    • Promote bladder health initiatives at the federal and state level.

    All of those issues are expected to be addressed at the 2016 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference Feb. 28-March 1 in Washington. The conference will be jointly sponsored by the AUA and the American Association of Clinical Urologists.

    NEXT: PSA screening, IOASE, Work force shortage and more

    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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