February 2014
The essential resource for your practice
Volume XXI, Number 2

AUA Comments on the 2014 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Reiterate Concerns with Certain Provisions

On January 27, 2014, the AUA submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on selected provisions within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule with comment period for calendar year (CY) 2014. The rule, released on November 27, 2013, finalized a number of payment policy changes and revised certain quality program requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act for the Medicare Part B program.

Table of Contents


Coding Corner:

AUA Announces Opening of Registration for 2014 Coding Seminars

AUA’s First QI Summit Draws Interested and Enthusiastic Audience

The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) Committee convened its first Quality Improvement (QI) Summit on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the AUA headquarters. As reported previously in the Brief, this meeting is the first QI summit to be conducted. Future plans are to hold this type of meeting annually to bring together AUA members, residents and other healthcare professionals to discuss a topic of critical importance to urology. This summit focused on complications associated with transrectal ultrasound prostate biopsies. Panels of experts presented the issues of importance and supporting data; lively group discussion followed each panel presentation on rectal swabs, antibiotic selection, and protocols. Experts from such institutions as the Cleveland Clinic, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan, as well as clinicians in large and small urology group practices presented their experiences, protocols and outcomes. Participants were very interested in the subject matter and contributed valuable information about their local experiences.

Kate Goodrich, MD, Group Director, Quality Measurement & Health Assessment Group for the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was the keynote speaker. Dr. Goodrich provided an overview of CMS quality initiatives, recent changes in 2014, and the CMS quality strategy.

For The Record

Intent to Participate in Medicare Meaningful Use Stage 2 Exceeds Readiness

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a Data Brief addressing the use of electronic health records (EHR) systems among office-based physicians from 2001-2013. NCHS reported that approximately 78 percent of office-based physicians (all specialties) currently use an EHR system.

Choosing Wisely Launches New E-Newsletter

In early February the ABIM Foundation will launch a new monthly Choosing Wisely e-newsletter featuring campaign updates and stories of best practices from specialty societies, consumer groups, grantees, and others across the healthcare system working to reduce waste and overuse. Learn more and sign up to receive the newsletter here

Launched in April 2012, Choosing Wisely encourages physician and patient conversations aimed at avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures to improve quality of care. Participants are asked to make recommendations to spur these conversations. The AUA is among the nearly 100 partners who have joined the movement, including other national specialty societies, regional health collaboratives, state medical societies and consumer groups.