The AUA has been actively engaged with lawmakers, regulators and other decision makers as leaders work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of AUA activities to date on this issue.
HHS Announces Phase 3 of Provider Relief Fund Payments
10/1/2020: On October 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $20 million in new funding through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Providers can apply for the new funds starting October 5.
AMA Approves Two Additional CPT Codes to Support COVID-19 Response
9/17/2020: The American Medical Association (AMA) has published an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that includes two Category 1 code additions for reporting medical services in response to the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minnesota Establishes COVID-19 Telehealth Equipment Grant
7/21/2020: A bill in Minnesota establishes a grant program in response to COVID-19 to reimburse for the purchase of telehealth equipment.
COVID-19 Relief for Clinicians Participating in the 2020 Quality Payment Program
7/7/2020: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced relief for clinicians and groups participating in the 2020 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Clinicians and groups affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances may submit an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application to re-weight any or all MIPS performance categories.
HHS to Extend COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
6/30/2020: The AUA, along with many other partners in the medical community, has been actively engaged in advocacy to extend the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) – and the policies that have allowed providers to continue providing patients with uninterrupted access to health care services. On June 29, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson Michael Caputo shared via social media that HHS intends to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) by an additional 90 days.
Congress to Hold COVID-19 Telehealth Hearing
6/16/2020: On June 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing to examine telehealth lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. This hearing is a critical early step in educating lawmakers and ensuring physicians can continue to maximize the benefits of telehealth and enhance patient access to care after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
Surgical Coalition Calls for Delayed Implementation of Certain Regulations
4/29/2020: On April 24, the Surgical Coalition – of which the AUA is a member – sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology requesting delayed implementation of certain regulations in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Read the letter. [pdf]
Surgical Coalition Offers Recommendations for Next COVID-19 Relief Package
4/15/2020: As Congress works on the fourth COVID-19 legislative package, the Surgical Coalition – of which AUA is a member – sent a letter to lawmaker making specific requests on behalf of the surgical community.
AUA Signs on to CMSS Statement for Adequate PPE
4/2/2020: The Council of Medical Specialty Societies released a statement calling for action to insure safer working conditions for physicians and other healthcare professionals on the frontline of direct patient care, and believes adequate PPE is a fundamental expectation. The AUA is a member of the CMSS, which represents more than 800,000 physicians across 45 specialties.
AUA Signs on to CMSS Statement for Restrictions to Slow the COVID-19 Pandemic
3/27/20: CMSS released a statement calling for a strong nationwide plan that supports and enforces social distancing—and one that recognizes our health and our economy are inextricably linked—to remain in place until public health and medical experts indicate it can be lifted. Lifting restrictions sooner will gravely jeopardize the health of all Americans and extend the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AUA is a member of the CMSS and signed on to this statement.
Surgical Coalition Calls for Lawmakers to Protect Front-Line Physicians During Pandemic
3/20/2020: The Surgical Coalition – of which the AUA is a member – sent an urgent letter to House and Senate Leadership outlining numerous provisions that are greatly needed as Congress continues to push legislation to help stave off the extreme challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis.