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American College of Rheumatology The Current State of Health Care Reform Aiken Hackett Director, Government Affairs.

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Presentation on theme: "American College of Rheumatology The Current State of Health Care Reform Aiken Hackett Director, Government Affairs."— Presentation transcript:

1 American College of Rheumatology The Current State of Health Care Reform Aiken Hackett Director, Government Affairs

2 Health Care Reform Objectives 2010 Physician Fee Schedule Senate Health Care Reform House Health Care Reform

3 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule 2010 Proposed Rule Elimination of Consultation Codes Decrease of Infusion payments 25% Continuation of PQRI

4 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule 2010 Proposed Rule What Is the ACR Doing? Submitting comments to CMS Working with other medical organizations and advocacy groups Submitted op-ed articles to major newspapers Encouraging members to submit comments to CMS and reach out to Congress

5 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule 2010 Proposed Rule What Can You Do? 1. Submit letter to CMS by 5pm ET August 31 Letter Template Online at and instructions on submission Electronically at USPS Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services 400 Independence Ave, S.W Washington, D.C Express your concerns with your members of Congress Information can be found on the ACR Website at under News Flash

6 ACR Position on Health Care Reform To ensure access to care, the ACR supports: 1)Access to affordable health coverage 2) Access to an adequate health care workforce for arthritis, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases 3) Access to quality care for these diseases 4) Cost-effective care without reduction in quality health care ACR paper online at

7 Major Players Administration –President Obama –HHS Senators –HELP Committee Kennedy Dodd –Finance Committee Gang Of Six Representatives –Waxman (D-CA) –Rangel (D-NY) –Miller (D-CA)

8 Senate Bills Background Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee passed the “Affordable Health Choices Act” on July 15. Senate Finance Committee still negotiating bill. The Senate Finance Committee is discussing the public insurance option among other proposals. Senate will merge two committee bills and send to floor for a vote.

9 Senate HELP Bill Estimated cost: $597B Coverage Includes an individual mandate on health insurance Prohibits excluding coverage based on pre-existing conditions Creates a public option (Community Health Insurance Option) Provider participation is voluntary within the public plan option. The Secretary can negotiate provider rates.

10 Senate HELP Bill Other Provisions Follow-on biologics Loan repayment program for pediatric sub- specialties

11 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Estimated cost: $1.042T Background Passed by Education & Labor Committee on July 17. Passed by Ways & Means Committee on July 17. Passed by Energy & Commerce Committee on July 31. Energy & Commerce has additional amendments to consider after August recess.

12 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Coverage Creates a Health Insurance Exchange where individuals and employers can purchase health coverage Requires employers to provide coverage or pay into a Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund Prohibits excluding coverage based on pre-existing conditions

13 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Provider Payment Eliminates 21.5% scheduled cut in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Includes a 1% update Establishes two service categories which will receive individual updates E/M services in one category and volume growth is at a rate of GDP + 2% Removes Part B drugs from calculations Increases Medicaid payments to encourage provider participation

14 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Access to Drugs Allows the Secretary to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers Grants the Secretary authority to determine a drug’s coverage in the public plan

15 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Includes provisions on follow-on biologics Includes provisions relating to HIT Includes provisions relating to CER Removes prompt pay discounts of up to 2% from the ASP calculation

16 H.R Tri-Committee Bill Imaging Calls for study on DXA utilization

17 H.R Tri-Committee Bill PQRI Requires Secretary to develop feedback mechanism (no deadline specified) and appeals process for providers participating in the PQRI program by January 1, 2011 Pending Amendment Workforce Loan Repayment for Pediatric Subspecialties

18 What to Expect in September Energy & Commerce will consider the remaining amendments. House will merge 3 committee passed bills and will send to floor for a vote. Senate Finance Committee has set a September 15 deadline to develop their bill. Senate must merge two bills and send to floor. Upon passing in both Chambers, Congress will go to “conference” to negotiate final bill.

19 What Can You Do? Contact your Representative and Senators and express your opinions on health care legislation. –www.capwiz.com/acr –AMA Grassroots Hotline: (800) Visit your legislators at home: congressional recess through September 7. Attend Annual Meeting Session with Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) on Monday, October 19, 2:30-4:00, to receive an update on health care reform.

20 What Can You Do? Contribute to RheumPAC Q:What is RheumPAC? A: RheumPAC is a political action committee dedicated to increasing the ACR’s presence on Capitol Hill. A: RheumPAC supports the ACR in its efforts to build contacts, influence and visibility within Washington, D.C. A: RheumPAC increases the ACR’s access to members of Congress and the opportunity to educate them on issues of importance to rheumatology.

21 American College of Rheumatology Questions? ACR Government Affairs Department Patton Boggs LLP


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