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May 10, 2018
Pathologists Lobby for Medicare LCD, PAMA Reform at 2018 Hill Day
During the final day of the 2018 Policy Meeting, pathologists met with the offices of their elected officials and urged members of Congress to support legislation to increase transparency and accountability in the Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) process and reforming the clinical laboratory fee schedule rate setting provisions of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). Because of the CAP's presence on the Hill, the CAP is excited to announce that Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), has committed to be a cosponsor of the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2017. Sen. Cassidy joins 15 other senators and 56 representatives who are cosponsors of the bill.
The CAP's Annual Hill Day included 78 pathologists who had 135 meetings with both House and Senate offices. Since 2012, CAP members have participated in more than 700 meetings with congressional offices and achieved several victories. For example, physicians successfully advocated for the repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR). CAP members also have successfully avoided Medicare payment penalties from the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Meaningful Use program after engaging with members of Congress at previous Policy Meetings and through the CAP's grassroots network, PathNET.
At the 2018 Policy Meeting, CAP members cited problems in the current LCD development process and asked for Congress to institute several changes.
Missed out on this year’s policy meeting? Be sure to save the date for next year’s meeting, scheduled April 29–May 1, 2019, at the Washington Marriott in Washington, DC.
2018 Practice Leader Survey Is Now Open
Do you wonder if your pathology practice has the same issues as other practices across the nation? If so, the CAP’S 2018 Practice Leader Survey (PLS), which is now open, will collect information from practice leaders about practice demographics, patient case mix, staffing trends, impacts of mergers and acquisitions, and the impact from regulatory issues and an evolving health care marketplace.
Data from these surveys is critical to helping the CAP understand what services pathologists are providing, where those services are provided, how long pathologists have been in practice, and what is their income and type of retirement plans. The data also helps the CAP understand which advocacy issues are most important to members and enables us to support our positions with lawmakers and regulators.
The CAP’s 2018 PLS is the second policy and advocacy survey targeting pathology practice leaders. Practice leaders should have received an email with the survey link. The link will also be sent to many practice managers and administrators, with a request that they bring the survey to the attention of their practice leader. CAP members should encourage their practice leader to complete the 20-minute survey—only one survey per practice will be sent.
Those practices that complete the 2018 PLS will be eligible to win one of three $150 Amazon gift cards. The PLS is confidential—anyone taking the survey will remain anonymous, and results will only be shared in aggregate form.
All survey participants will be able to view an exclusive webinar that will review the findings later this year.
For questions about completing the survey or to make sure your practice leader received the survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIH Launches “All of Us” Precision Medicine Research Program
The CAP encourages its members to consider participating in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new precision medicine research effort, the All of Us Research Program. The program seeks to enroll one million participants who will share their health information to help accelerate medical research. The CAP, along with the American Medical Association (AMA) and other provider groups, can help spread the word to hospitals and health systems about this program.
The All of Us Research Program is part of the Precision Medicine Initiative and will be a public resource full of data so researchers can access the science and medical breakthroughs much faster and easier. The data collected can be used by any researcher around the world, as long as they follow strict privacy and security rules.
Two major goals set this NIH effort apart from typical medical research. First, it aims to have 50% of participants from racial and ethnic minority communities. Second, it aims to have 75% of participants from groups that have been historically underrepresented in research. Achieving these goals will require significant effort to build trust, overcome barriers, and work with participants as true partners in research.
Providers who take part in the study will ask their patients to participate in the study by sharing their blood and urine samples, among their health history and lifestyle characteristics. Participants will be able to access their information along with summarized results from the All of Us Research Program.
To learn more about the program, including what it means to be a participant, please visit joinallofus.org.