Heart of Health Policy | ACC President on Capitol Hill
ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, last month participated in a second “Red Tape Relief Initiative” roundtable with members of the House Committee on Ways and Means. A bipartisan effort, the Red Tape Relief Initiative focuses on how lawmakers can work to remove unnecessary burdens in the Medicare program. The first roundtable, in which Valentine also participated on behalf of the ACC, occurred in March and focused primarily on the “Quadruple Aim” of physician well-being.
Throughout the most recent roundtable, panelists and members of Congress discussed administrative burdens clinicians currently face including excessive prior authorization, cumbersome electronic health records and duplicative reporting requirements. Additionally, participants, including Valentine, stressed that regulations simply have not kept up with the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. Specifically, they noted the burdens posed by the lack of a modernized Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law) and antiquated anti-kickback statutes.
In response to concerns that clinicians are spending more time at a computer rather than with their patients, Brad Wenstrup, MD, (R-OH), a podiatric surgeon, discussed irritation he has faced in his practice due to excessive administrative requirements: “One of the greatest frustrations we have, I’ve always felt, is that I don’t need Washington to tell me if I’m practicing well or not. My patients do and my referring doctors do. That was what I based my success on…rather than submitting all this data that had nothing to do with taking care of the patients.”
Valentine highlighted the ways the ACC is working to address physician burden, particularly as it related to prior authorization. He highlighted the College’s Prior Authorization Report Tools (PARTools) that are designed to capture data on issues arising from prior authorization requirements associated with medical imaging and PCSK9 drugs.
Addressing physician well-being is a strategic priority for the College. “The physician burnout rate is approaching 50 percent, with cardiology ranking among the highest. There are questions about a workforce gap, and our ability to fill this need...Many look to the College for help — and rightfully so,” said Valentine earlier this year as part of a JACC Leadership Page. “We must improve the well-being of our clinicians first, so that administrative tasks and burnout no longer prevent the delivery of the highest quality care.”
Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Health Policy, Fee-for-Service Plans, Physician Self-Referral, Burnout, Professional, Leadership, Pharmaceutical Preparations, District of Columbia, Medicare, Fraud, Electronic Health Records, Diagnostic Imaging, Surgeons
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