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AAO-HNS 2014 Federal Legislative Priorities
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Recent Congressional Activity on Permanent Repeal of SGR Formula
In February, leaders from three Congressional committees released a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on legislation to permanently repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula and replace it with a new Medicare payment system that better incentivizes the delivery of high-quality, efficient healthcare. See below for relevant resources and updates.
View letter in support of H.R. 4015/S. 2000, signed by 17 Surgical Coalition members (including the AAO-HNS).
AAO-HNS Comments on SGR Repeal Proposals
In early 2013, Congressional leaders identified repeal of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula as a top legislative priority. Since then, Congressional committees with jurisdiction over Medicare policy have spent substantial time developing legislation that would repeal the flawed SGR formula and replace it with a new payment system that better incentivizes the delivery of high-quality, efficient healthcare. As an active participant in this process, the AAO-HNS has submitted seven comment letters highlighting the possible impact of various proposals on otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and offering suggestions for improving the legislative proposals. The AAO-HNS continues to work closely with key committees while this important effort continues to evolve. Members interested in receiving updates should bookmark this web page or follow the Government Affairs team on Twitter @AAOHNSGovtAffrs.
On December 12, 2013, the House Ways & Means Committee unanimously (39-0) advanced an amended version of H.R. 2810. On the same day, the Senate Finance Committee passed a similar framework by a voice vote and followed their initial activity with the introduction of formal SGR-related legislative language on December 19, 2013.
View our November 12, 2013 comments to the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees regarding their framework to repeal the SGR.
View our comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee from July 11, 2013.
Join the ENT Advocacy Network and Check Out the Academy's new I-GO program.
Get involved at the federal, state, and local level by joining the ENT Advocacy Network a free member benefit. As part of the Academy's outreach to elected officials, members are being recruited to participate in activities in their local districts (In-District Grassroots Outreach Program). Visit the Legislative Grassroots Page for more details.
The AAO-HNS Government Affairs Team has joined Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn! Follow us on these interactive forums to receive updates and discuss policies being considered on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the nation.
Audiology Legislation in the 113th Congress
AAO-HNS Supports ASHA Legislation
On June 12, 2013, H.R. 2330, a comprehensive audiology benefit bill, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with the support of the AAO-HNS. The "support" position of the Academy is the result of many months of discussions between the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the AAO-HNS. However, the decision to support this legislation was not made lightly and represents recognition of the continually changing atmosphere within the healthcare delivery system. As a result, AAO-HNS leaders believed it prudent to engage in productive conversations with the audiology community as a means to mitigate any truly egregious attempts at scope expansion. As a result of these negotiations, H.R. 2330 retains physician referral requirements, does not permit direct access, and preserves existing state scope-of-practice laws.
AAO-HNS Opposes AAA "Direct Access" Legislation
On February 11, 2014, the "Access to Hearing Healthcare Act" (H.R. 4035) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Companion legislation (S. 2046) was introduced in the U.S. Senate on February 26. If enacted, H.R. 4035/S. 2046 would provide audiologists with unlimited direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral, leading to increased healthcare costs and significant patient safety issues. The AAO-HNS strongly opposes H.R. 4035/S. 2046. AAO-HNS members are encouraged to support our advocacy efforts on this issue by contacting their U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators via our legislative action alert.
For more information regarding federal audiology legislation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAO-HNS Action Alerts via the AAO-HNS Advocacy Center:
Contact your federal legislators TODAY and urge them to oppose audiologists' unlimited direct access to Medicare patients!