April 2013
The essential resource for your practice
Volume XXI, Number 4

AUA Releases New Prostate Biopsy White Paper

The American Urological Association (AUA) has released a new White Paper on Biopsy Sampling, Labeling and Specimen Processing (link removed) to provide clinical guidance to practitioners performing prostate biopsies. This white paper is the result of more than a year’s work led by Dr. Samir S. Taneja, MD. A corresponding  review article (link removed) has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Urology® and will appear in an upcoming issue.

Table of Contents


Coding Corner:

New Clinical Guidelines Being Released at AUA2013

Alliance Roundtable Addresses Workforce Shortage with Leaders, Lawmakers

The Alliance of Specialty Medicine convened the Roundtable “Ensuring an Adequate Specialty Physician Workforce for the 21st Century” on March 19, 2013. The session was moderated by AUA Health Policy Vice Chair Dr. Chris Gonzalez, and featured speakers Institute of Medicine (IOM) Director of Healthcare Services Dr. Roger Herdman, and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Chief Public Policy Officer Dr. Atul Grover, who discussed the workforce shortages in both specialty medicine and primary care along with the graduate medical education (GME) funding challenges. The AUA was represented by Drs. Pat McKenna, Raj Pruthi, Bruce Robertson and Eugene Rhee. Major discussion focused on the physician workforce shortage in the United States with an emphasis on specialty medicine.

Dr. Grover, who also presented workforce data to Joint Advocacy Conference attendees earlier in the month, shared AAMC data that painted a grim picture of the nation’s physician workforce shortage.

CMS Announces Claims Hold

Citing technical issues with its quarterly systems release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday that it has instructed Medicare claims administration contractors to hold certain claims with dates of service or “through dates” on or after April 1 until April 14 when system fixes are implemented.

MedPAC Releases March Report to Congress, Urges SGR Repeal

Significant reform to the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) system – including payment reforms that encourage quality and care coordination and review and implementation of different payment models – is a key focus of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) annual report to Congress released last month. MedPAC Chair Glenn Hackbarth, JD, presented the report to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health on March 15. 

Emphasizing that “it is imperative that the current FFS payment systems be managed carefully,” Hackbarth’s testimony echoed that of many prominent policy analysts, pointing out a need for providers to control costs and “be more receptive to new payment methods and reforms to healthcare delivery systems.” He also called for repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system, pointing out that the SGR “has failed to restrain volume growth and may have exacerbated it.”