ACG, AGA, ASGE Meet With CMS to Discuss GI Value & Reimbursement: 4 Things to Know

Carrie Pallardy - Print  |

Despite the outcry over cost of procedures such as colonoscopy, GI reimbursement has suffered harsh cuts in recent years. The presidents of the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy met May 22 with CMs administrator Marilyn Tavenner to discuss key issues relating to colonoscopy and GI services.

Harry Sarles Jr., MD, FACG, president of the ACG; John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, president of the AGA; and Colleen M. Schmitt, MD, MHS, FASGE, president of the ASGE, met with Ms. Tavenner to discuss three issues important to the GI community.

1. The three society presidents focused on three key issues.

•    Public health value of colonoscopy
•    Fairness and transparency in the Medicare rulemaking policy and the need to allow the GI community more time to comment on proposed rules and changes
•    Reimbursement cuts

2. Earlier this year, the three societies met on Capitol Hill for a briefing on reducing colorectal cancer. "This event kicked off the initiative The Value of Colonoscopy: Saving Lives Through Expert Care — a unique partnership of ACG, AGA and ASGE that educates both policymakers and patients on the value of colonoscopy and the gastroenterologists that perform this life-saving procedure," said Harry Sarles Jr., MD, FACG, in a Becker's ASC Review report.

3. The AGA, along with its two sister societies, has been advocating for more transparency from CMS since the release of the release of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, which included reimbursement cuts to upper GI endoscopy services. Thus far, these efforts have garnered support from 47 House of Representative members, who sent a letter to CMS.

4. The three society presidents stressed the importance of ensuring that colonoscopy reimbursement reflects the public health value of the procedure. The GI societies have also banded together to protest payment cuts to upper GI/endoscopy services.

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