February 2013
The essential resource for your practice
Volume XXI, Number 2

Advocating on Your Behalf: AUA’s 2013 Legislative Priorities

The AUA, a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, recently announced the 2013 Board-approved legislative priorities.  

Table of Contents

  

Register Today for the 2013 Urology Practice Management Conference May 3-4

AUA Physicians to Meet with 113th Congress in Washington D.C.

AUA member physicians will travel to Washington, D.C. this March to meet with the new members of the 113th Congress on key legislative issues such as, USPSTF Reform, Urotrauma, and the Affordable Care Act as participants of the 8th Annual Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC). The conference provides the opportunity to meet with your Representative and Senators in their Capitol Hill office. This is your opportunity to share the challenges you are experiencing caring for patients and practicing medicine in 2013. 

The 113thCongress convened on January 3, with greater diversity than the 112thCongress. Ninety-six freshman members were elected, 12 are in the Senate and 84 in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, three new members are Republican, eight are Democrats, and one from Maine is an Independent. In the House, there are 36 new Republican members and 48 new Democrats. The Republicans still maintain a majority in the House with a total of 234 seats to 201, and the Democrats hold a 55-to-45 lead in the Senate.

There are a total of twenty physicians in Congress; three in the Senate and 17 in the House, four of which are Democrats and 16 are Republicans. For the first time, the congressional Doctors’ Caucus may have a bipartisan membership.

For The Record

On January 14, 2013, the AUA submitted a letter to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in response to preliminary recommendations for Stage 3 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. The recommendations were issued by the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) who has responsibility for guiding the National Coordinator and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in promulgating regulations for the program commonly referred to as Meaningful Use (MU).  see more>>

PQRS: Maximizing Your Return in 2013

The new year brought changes to various federal programs including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS – formerly known as the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative or PQRI). Established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), PQRS is a physician quality reporting system, which provides an incentive payment for eligible professionals who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries. This incentive will continue in 2013 and 2014; participants will receive a 0.5 percent incentive each year they participate successfully. A new, significant change is that until now there was no penalty for not participating in this program. However, beginning in 2015, Medicare providers who do not report successfully (including those who do not participate in PQRS at all) will receive a 1.5 percent Medicare payment reduction based on 2013 reporting activity.