Bob Gatty

Specialty groups make health reform pitchAs the Republican-led Congress wrestles with the daunting challenge of developing comprehensive health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, specialty organizations—including those representing urology—are working to influence the ultimate outcome.
Congress says 'no' to Trump NIH budget cutsThe fiscal 2017 appropriations wrap-up package approved by Congress in early May included a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, despite a Trump administration request for a $1.2 billion reduction for the nation’s primary medical research facility. That bipartisan action, which funds the federal government through September, came in the face of President Trump’s demand to slash spending for domestic programs to pay for a huge increase in appropriations for defense.
Guarded approval for new USPSTF PSA gradeThe new draft recommendation on PSA screening from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which improves the previous D rating for all men to a C rating for those ages 55 to 69 years, has been met with guarded approval by three of the key national organizations representing urologists.
AUA pursues revised priorities on Capitol HillHundreds of urologists visited Capitol Hill last month as part of the Joint Advocacy Conference, where they met with members of Congress on key issues affecting health care, urology, and urology practices. They did so at a historic time, as lawmakers sought to enact Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
What will replace the Affordable Care Act?President Trump’s campaign promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has proved to be easier said than done as Republicans who control Congress have been unable to devise a workable and acceptable replacement for the controversial health care law.
VA: APRNs may practice without oversightIn the wake of heated criticism about lengthy wait times for veterans’ care at Veterans Health Administration hospitals, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has moved to allow advanced-practice registered nurses to practice to their full authority without physician oversight and regardless of individual state law in VA facilities.
Committee seeks to ban concurrent surgeriesThe practice of performing concurrent and overlapping surgeries in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers across the nation has come under scrutiny by the Senate Finance Committee, and hospitals and surgeons are on notice that some practices that may have been commonplace in the past need to change.
MedPAC talks cost cutting as IPAB loomsTwo days of discussions at the Sept. 7 and 8 meetings of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission highlighted the difficulties and complexities that will face policymakers as they consider solutions to the financial crisis facing Medicare.
Congress seeks reform of self-referral lawA serious effort to reform the federal physician self-referral law (the Stark law) to reduce the regulatory burden imposed by the statute on medical practices is underway in Congress, and organizations representing urology are encouraging lawmakers to take action. But there is a key component of the law that the AUA and others want to be sure is not changed.
GOP outlines proposal for replacing ObamacareThe 2016 Medicare trustees’ recent report that the Medicare trust fund will reach insolvency by 2028 is providing fodder for congressional Republicans who are pushing a plan to replace Obamacare, including numerous proposals that would dramatically change Medicare.