October 11, 2022
In this Issue:
- CAP Discusses Key Advocacy Issues During Town Hall at Annual Meeting
- CAP Recognizes Advocacy Leaders at Annual Meeting
- Over 100 Medical Professional Groups Urge Congress to Stop Medicare Pay Cuts
- CMS Will Still Allow COVID-19 Tests to be Used Outside Instructions for Use
- Upcoming Advocacy Webinars
- Think You Know Advocacy? Then Take the Quiz!
CAP Discusses Key Advocacy Issues During Town Hall at Annual Meeting
During the CAP 22 Annual Meeting, CAP members gathered in person and virtually to participate in an informative Advocacy Town Hall. Advocacy Town Hall moderator and Member of the Board of Governors Kalisha Hill, MD, FCAP, asked both CAP President Emily E. Volk, MD, FCAP, and Council on Government and Professional Affairs Chair Jonathan Myles, MD, FCAP, about the CAP’s advocacy agenda.
CAP members participated in an exclusive Advocacy Town Hall, where they asked questions on the latest Advocacy efforts and inquired about current federal issues impacting their practice and reimbursements. The CAP works to influence legislation of pathology at the federal and state levels of government by engaging members in advocacy efforts.
Throughout the thorough 90-minute session, panelists Dr. Volk and Dr. Myles discussed the Advocacy agenda, including some accomplishments such as how the CAP worked with the CMS to increase clinical labor rates for histotechnologists and how the CAP successfully advocated for 13 new digital pathology add-on codes for the 2023 Medicare physician fee schedule. Dr. Myles also reviewed proposed changes to CLIA-authorized laboratory director personnel requirements, the current state of the VALID Act, advocacy for the remote sign-out waivers post COVID. Dr. Myles also reviewed how the CAP is fighting to mitigate upcoming Medicare cuts and improve the Medicare physician fee payment system.
During the Q & A session, members asked questions on the VALID Act, how it will be regulated and the CAP’s role in the regulation process, how it may impact different types of laboratory settings, and how grandfathered tests were advocated by the CAP to be included in the current legislation. CAP President Dr. Volk and Dr. Myles answered questions and cleared up concerns from members.
CAP Recognizes Advocacy Leaders at Annual Meeting
During the CAP22 meeting, the CAP recognized Advocacy leaders for their efforts at the CAP Meritorious Service Awards Program. On October 9, the CAP recognized Eric Loo, MD, FCAP, as the Advocate of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in advocacy over the past years; Ronald W. McLawhon, MD, PhD, FCAP, received the CAP Outstanding Communicator Award, Gregary Bocsi, DO, FCAP, received the CAP Public Service Award, and CAP Past-President Patrick T. Godbey, MD, FCAP, received the Pathologist of the Year Award.
Recognizing his long and distinguished career in pathology, the CAP named Dr. Godbey the Pathologist of the Year for his long service to the CAP. Dr. Godbey has served as the Council on Government and Professional Affairs chair, overseeing the organization’s legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts for patients, pathologists, and medical laboratories. Dr. Godbey went on to serve as CAP President from 2019-2021.
As the Advocate of the Year, Dr. Loo, who is a member of the CAP Federal and State Affairs Committee, successfully secured proficiency testing safeguards in legislation related to direct-to-consumer laboratory testing in New Hampshire. At the federal level, he provided arguments against bringing back gene patenting from a clinical laboratory perspective on the patent reform roundtables established by US Senators Richard Burr and Chris Coons and has been the only physician voice at the table.
As the Outstanding Communicator Award, Dr. McLawhon has led the development of the new pathology clinical consultation codes, overseeing their valuation by the American Medical Association RVS Update Committee, and advocating for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to adopt these codes. In addition, Dr. McLawhon is vice chair of the Economic Affairs Committee, chair of the CPT/RUC Subcommittee, and a member of the Council on Government and Professional Affairs.
Gregary Bocsi, DO, FCAP, received the CAP Public Service Award for his service to pathologists and patients. Dr. Bocsi has been a leader in the CAP’s Quality Performance Measure Development process through the Quality and Clinical Data Registry Affairs Committee. While on the Economic Affairs Committee, Dr. Bocsi was a liaison with the CAP’s Quality Center for Evidence-Based Guidelines on its advisory panel for MMR/MSI Testing in Patients Checkpoint Inhibitor Guideline.
Over 100 Medical Professional Groups Urge Congress to Stop Medicare Pay Cuts
The CAP and over 100 other health and medical professional organizations strongly urged members of Congress to stop Medicare cuts in 2023. The coalition asked House Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-IN) to quickly pass the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (HR 8800), which aims to lessen the upcoming Medicare reimbursement cuts in 2023 and provides guidance to improve the Medicare Payment system for physicians. The CAP has urged that Congress take action to mitigate Medicare reimbursement cuts, while preserving critical physician services for Medicare patients.
In the September 30 letter, the coalition who included the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American College of Surgeons (ACS), emphasized how, “this critical legislation provides a 4.42% positive adjustment to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) conversion factor (CF) for CY2023, thereby mitigating payment cuts within the MPFS that are anticipated to take effect on January 1, 2023…The long‐term consequence of failing to avert the cuts is less patient access to care.”
The bipartisan legislation would alleviate Medicare cuts for all physicians. It would not only mitigate the upcoming Medicare reimbursement cuts in 2023 but also outlines a path to improve the Medicare Payment system for physicians.
The CAP will advocate to get the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 included in end-of-year legislation.
CMS Will Still Allow COVID-19 Tests to be Used Outside Instructions for Use
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to leave in place a policy that allows laboratories to use SARS-CoV-2 tests on asymptomatic patients outside of a test’s instructions for use. The agency is expected to exercise enforcement discretion in this area for the rest of the public health emergency.
On September 26, the CMS initially said it would rescind its policy that allowed laboratories to use tests intended for only patients with symptoms of the coronavirus on asymptomatic individuals. The clinical laboratory could not use the tests on asymptomatic patients unless the clinical laboratory was a high-complexity laboratory and established performance specifications for asymptomatic patients.
However, the CMS reversed this decision on October 7 by stating it rescinded the rescission published September 26. The CMS would continue to exercise enforcement discretion under CLIA for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency for the use of authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular and antigen point of care tests on asymptomatic individuals outside of the test’s authorization.
Upcoming Advocacy Webinars
Updates from the FDA on the EUA Process Webinar
On Tuesday, October 25 at 12 PM ET/ 11 AM CT, the CAP will offer a complimentary live webinar to discuss recent updates to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. The FDA’s Timothy Stenzel, MD, PhD, FCAP, who is the Director of the FDA Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, will join CAP leaders to provide pathologists with an overview of current EUA processes and take questions from participants.
Pathologists Advocating for Health Equity
On Tuesday, November 1 at 11 AM ET/ 10 AM CT, the CAP will offer a complimentary webinar on disparities in health care and what federal policies are in discussion to combat this issue. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated underlying disparities in health and health care, emphasizing the importance of addressing them. The federal government is prioritizing health equity as part of the pandemic response and recovery effort. In response to federal action, the CAP has developed policies addressing these disparities. CAP President Emily E. Volk, MD, FCAP and Governor from the Board of Governors Kalisha Hill, MD, FCAP, will discuss the colleges approach to these vital policy issues.
Good Faith Estimates - What Pathologists Need to Know Webinar
On Wednesday, November 2 at 1 PM ET/ 12 PM CT, the CAP will offer a complimentary live webinar where CAP experts Council of Government and Professional Affairs Jonathan Myles, MD, FCAP and member of the Economic Affairs Committee Theresa Emory, MD, FCAP, will explain what pathologists need to know for good faith estimates in compliance with the No Surprises Act regulations. Additionally, the speakers will review what pathologists and their practices must do to comply with the new regulations in 2023.
Think You Know Advocacy? Then Take the Quiz!
Now that you read this week’s issue, lets test your Advocacy knowledge! Last month over 60 fellow members took the quiz. See how you compare against your fellow CAP members and brag about your top scores on social!