The National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care

The Washington Watchline

Pending Legislation for Graduate Medical Education Funding

Companion bills that would expand funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME) have been introduced in the House of Representative and the Senate.  The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2017, H.R.2267 was introduced May 1, 2017 by Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA) with 67 cosponsors followed by the June 7, 2017 introduction of S.1301 by Senator C. William Nelson (D-FL) with 4 cosponsors. These bills have been informed and strongly supported by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The AAMC Weighs in on the MACRA Regulations

On January 2, 2018 Janis M. Orlowski, M.D., M.A.C.P.  Chief, Health Care Affairs, American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) sent a letter to Ms. Seema Verma, Administrator,  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) commenting on the evolving regulations for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). One section of the letter addresses the important issue of risk adjustment for the Medicare physician performance metrics. Dr. Orlowski states:   

2020 Physician Compensation Based on Their Cost to Medicare

In 2018 physician compensation will be adjusted under the Value Based Payment Method (VBPM) first implemented in 2015.  However, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be collecting and analyzing data to be used in determining physician compensation in 2020, the first year fully impacted by the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). While physician compensation in 2019 will be under MIPS, only three of the four categories will be used by CMS. The cost category will first apply in the 2020 payment and will account for 10% of a physician’s final score. 

Reducing the Regulatory Burden: A New Path for CMS

On November 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rules for the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the 2018 Quality Payment Program data collection requirements. These final rules are in line with the new administration’s goal to reduce the regulatory burden imposed on physicians by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Promoting Medical Device Innovation and Adoption

A core principle of NAMDRC is advancing patient care through improved medical technology. Two articles published concurrently in September by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), one in the Journal CHEST and the second in CHEST Physician, are of particular interest. These are Investing in New Technology in Pulmonary Medicine: Navigating the Tortuous Path to Success. Chest. 152(3):663–671, SEP 2017. Robert Kruklitis, Kim French et al. and The Growing Need to Mix Pulmonary Medicine and Politics.

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