Legislative Updates from the AACU

Legal hurdles may stall telehealth’s role in work force crisisAs thousands of baby boomers age into Medicare every day and millions of newly insured Americans seek health care, analysts point to expanded utilization of telehealth services as one way to alleviate physician shortages and ensure access to care.
Battle over tort reform, physician drug testing wages in CaliforniaA battle is brewing in California between trial lawyers and physicians, one that could be a harbinger of things to come nationally.
Whether urology’s interests are served depends on youIn socioeconomic sessions at urology meetings, e-mail alerts transmitted before critical votes in Congress, or solicitations for political action committee donations, urologists are frequently reminded: “If you’re not at the table, you’ll be on the menu.”
In Washington, time running out to address health care concernsAs the year comes to an end, federal lawmakers still have much to address with Obamacare’s problematic launch and time running out to pass a repeal of the fundamentally flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate by the end of the year.
Urologists unveil future of health delivery at AACU conferenceEnergized by recent legislative victories from Tallahassee to Olympia, urologists looked to the future as they gathered for the 6th annual AACU State Society Network Advocacy Conference. Taking place just days after the Oct. 1 launch of open enrollment for health insurance exchange plans, the event focused on the role of urologists and their professional associations in a transformed health care delivery system.
Is the end of SGR near?The widely unpopular Medicare sustainable growth rate enacted under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 has threatened cuts to Medicare payments to physicians for years. This year there is hope that a solution to the perennial problem will be enacted into law.
Rollout of ACA provisions taking many twists and turnsHere’s how some of the ACA’s key provisions are shaping up and what to look for in the months ahead.
States may hold key to work force shortage solutionsThere is little doubt that the federal government will continue to play an important role subsidizing the training of physicians. However, given the immediate medical education and work force crisis, states will likely be the source of temporary and long-term solutions.
Physician advocacy reaps rewards in medical liability reform battlePhysicians and their advocates scored important victories in Connecticut, Florida, and Georgia in working to defeat attempts to undermine past medical liability reform successes and achieving new ones.
Payers, not states, often dictate non-physicians’ authority, reimbursementThe aging population and an expected influx of 30 million newly insured Americans have raised concerns about provider shortages and bolstered efforts to expand the role of advanced practice practitioners (APPs) in the delivery of patient care. Unsatisfied with collaborative teams led by physicians that empower APPs and promote patient safety, organizations representing nurse practitioners, for one, are seizing this opportunity to increase the number of states where they practice without supervision.