Behind the scenes

This week we want to make you aware of some of the behind-the-scenes work we have been doing on your behalf in Washington. Although not as glamorous as meeting with members of Congress or the White House, it is essential to staying informed and being able to advocate successfully when necessary. 

  • Medicare documentation reform: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is amid a serious effort to remove some of the burdens of evaluation and management services documentation. We recently attended a meeting with CMS, hosted by the American Medical Association (AMA), to provide input as to what direction reform should take. We expect CMS will announce proposed changes later this year.
  • MIPS: CMS appears to agree that the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) needs simplification. We attended a meeting with other specialties to learn about possible reforms under consideration and to provide input. We expect CMS will announce proposed changes this summer when it publishes its proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
  • Telemedicine and digital health: This is a very hot topic right now. There are several bills in Congress, Medicare and the Veteran’s Affairs Office announcing coverage of new telemedicine technologies. We recently attended an AMA briefing on activities in this area and learned about potential legislative and administrative changes that could impact all physicians.
  • USP and Compounding: United States Pharmacopeia (USP) recently held an all-day meeting at its offices outside of Washington, D.C. in which it discussed a variety of compounding-related topics. The Advocacy Council’s Executive Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, James Sublett, MD, FACAAI, attended and engaged in dialog with USP leaders on issues related to our specialty.
  • FDA: Soon, two Advocacy Council leaders will be attending a meeting at the FDA to provide input on how the FDA’s regulation of compounding could affect the allergy specialty.

Our ability to engage with policymakers and work with others in the physician community depends on these low-profile but potentially high-impact activities. We’ll continue to monitor, advocate where appropriate and provide more information as it becomes available on these issues that have the potential to change your practice.