Heart of Health Policy

Health Reform Bill Stalled in U.S. House of Representatives

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was pulled from consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. After much debate, lawmakers could not muster the votes to pass the legislation, which would have repealed and replaced provisions under the Affordable Care Act – a key priority for the new presidential administration and Congress. Read More >>>

The ACC had previously expressed concerns about elements of the AHCA, particularly its impact on patient coverage. “As reflected in CBO’s analysis of the legislation, the estimated impact of the AHCA does not align with ACC’s Principles for Health Policy Reform,” said ACC immediate past president Richard A. Chazal, MD, MACC, in an earlier statement. “We are concerned over the sharp projected increase in the number of uninsured Americans, especially among our most vulnerable populations.”

The College’s principles prioritize improved coverage for – and access to – efficient, high quality care; protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions; and continued national investment in preventive care, medical research and innovations. “Adhering to our Principles for Health Policy Reform, the ACC will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in our efforts to improve coverage for – and access to – efficient, high quality care, particularly for patients with pre-existing conditions like heart disease,” said ACC president Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. <<< Return to top

Coverage Proposal for PAD Supervised Exercise Therapy

The ACC recently joined with other stakeholders to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to move forward with a positive national coverage decision for supervised exercise therapy to treat symptomatic peripheral artery disease. Read More >>>

In a joint letter, the ACC and others expressed support for the fundamental proposal, and suggested revisions that would add flexibility and clarity for patients and clinicians. CMS will publish its final decision by May 31, though it could come several weeks before that deadline. <<< Return to top

Coding Corner

CMS has announced that practitioners in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island are required to report on claims data on post-operative visits furnished during the global period of specified procedures using Current Procedural Terminology code 99024, beginning July 1. Read More >>>

The specified procedures are those that are furnished by more than 100 practitioners and are either nationally furnished more than 10,000 times annually or have more than $10 million in annual allowed charges. Although reporting is required for global procedures furnished on or after July 1, the ACC encourages all practitioners to begin reporting as soon as possible. <<< Return to top

ACC Asks Congress for Continued Funding for CV Research

The ACC in March submitted written testimony for the record to the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee urging continued funding to ensure future medical research advancements in FY ‘18 and beyond. Read More >>>

The testimony recommends Congress appropriate the following funds towards agencies doing vital work in cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention: $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with $3.3 billion going towards the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and $1.8 billion towards the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to increase the NIH’s purchasing power and preserve U.S. leadership in research; $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with $175 million towards the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention to strengthen heart disease prevention efforts at state and local levels, $5 million towards CDC’s Million Hearts initiative, $37 million towards CDC’s WISEWOMAN to help uninsured or under-insured women prevent or control heart disease, $7 million towards CDC congenital heart research to study its effects over the lifespan, and $210 million towards CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health to maintain the program’s cost-effective tobacco control efforts. <<< Return to top

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