The 2015 omnibus spending bill canceled a $10 million appropriation for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Congress also approved a bill that cuts Medicare funding for vacuum erection systems. Rationing care, whether undertaken by the IPAB or Congress, must be opposed when it arbitrarily selects services based on public perception and not medical necessity, writes Ross E. Weber of the AACU.
In Urology Times’ ninth annual State of the Specialty survey, an astounding 87% of respondents perceived “increasing government regulations” with trepidation. Unfortunately, while nearly nine in ten urologists identify the problem, far fewer take steps to address it.
When provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) related to the expansion of Medicaid to low-income childless adults took effect in January 2014, 25 states and the District of Columbia had approved laws to broaden their programs' eligibility requirements. Since then, under pressure from various interests groups, including state hospital associations, lawmakers in at least three more states—Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—expanded their health care safety net programs and thereby gained access to federal dollars that would have otherwise been left on the table.
Leaders of state, national, and subspecialty urologic societies from around the country converged in Rosemont, IL in September for a weekend of health policy discussions and advocacy tips with public officials, policy experts, and fellow urologists. One of the themes reinforced at the 7th Annual State Society Network Advocacy Conference, hosted by the AACU, was the importance and impact of physician engagement in the political process.
As policymakers learn about the burgeoning bottleneck between medical school graduation and graduate medical education, a number of novel approaches to physician training have launched from Sacramento to Jefferson City to Tallahassee. Not surprisingly, many of these solutions pit providers against one another amid concerns about patient safety and the dilution of professional standards.
Earlier this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case of North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, a case arising out of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners’ (NC Dentistry Board) attempt to enforce the state’s scope of practice laws against a group of non-dentists. While this case arises out of a dispute between North Carolina dentists and non-dentists, its outcome is being watched by state dental and medical boards throughout the country for its impact on their ability to regulate the practice of dentistry and medicine within their own states, particularly with respect to scope of practice.