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Legislative & Political Affairs

NEW - ACA Replacement Effort Advances in U.S. House

On Friday, March 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017. The legislation, which is the cornerstone of the Republican Majority’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, will now move to the U.S. Senate for consideration and possible amendments. The AAO-HNS will continue our conversations with lawmakers as the bill advances through the legislative process, advocating for affordable access to care for patients and reduced administrative burdens on physicians.

The Road to SGR Repeal

April 16 was a historic day for the physician community, as President Obama signed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)—the last step in the long road to permanently repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment formula. This landmark legislation was passed in both the House (392-37) and Senate (92-8) with solid bipartisan majorities. The legislation includes provisions addressing several of the AAO-HNS’ legislative priorities, including:

• Permanent repeal of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to determine payments to physicians under the Medicare program;

• Rescission of the new CMS policy to transition all 10- and 90-day global payment codes to 0-day codes by 2018; and

• Consolidation of current performance-based programs (PQRS, VBM, and EHR MU) into a unified Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The AAO-HNS is prepared to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress, if necessary, to ensure the new payment policies set forth in H.R. 2 are implemented as intended.

Click here to review a section-by-section summary of H.R. 2.

Click here to review a summary of the payment provisions included in the bill.

This major legislative victory is the result of years of unrelenting advocacy from the medical community, and tireless grassroots involvement from our members—especially over the last month. Thank you to the AAO-HNS members who acted on the Academy’s “Call to Action” and contacted their Members of Congress. Your voice was heard!