2013-2014 Washington Update
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Take Action Today: Urge Congress to Extend the Medicaid Payment Increase!
Currently, Medicaid primary care services are being paid at Medicare levels. This federally funded enhanced payment allows physicians to serve more Medicaid patients. However, the provision expires on December 31, 2014 unless Congress votes to extend it. Please take a moment to contact your members of Congress and ask them to pass legislation before the end of this year that would extend the Medicaid payment increase.

 UCAOA Comments on Proposed Changes to Medicare Quality Programs - September 2, 2014
On September 2, UCAOA submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. It in its letter, UCAOA commented on the barriers to successful participation in Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting Program (PQRS) for physicians and other eligible professionals who practice in urgent care centers, including the lack relevant PQRS measures, which would worsen if CMS finalizes its plans to eliminate the claims reporting mechanism for a number of measures. UCAOA also voiced opposition to CMS’ proposal to double the maximum downward adjustment a physician or other eligible professional could receive under the physician Value-Based Payment (VBP) Modifier Program. Under CMS’ proposal, a physician or other eligible professional who does not successfully participate in PQRS in 2015 would receive a -2 percent payment adjustment in 2017, as well as a VBP modifier of -4 percent. CMS will release the final rule in early November. A summary of PQRS requirements is available for UCAOA members.

Sign-On Letter to Senate and House Leaders on Enhanced Medicaid Payments – June 10, 2014
Current funding for a program that ensures a floor of Medicare payment rates for primary-care services in Medicaid expires on Dec. 31, 2014. UCAOA joined others in the health care community in asking Senate and House lawmakers to extend Medicaid enhanced payments for at least two more years.

UCAOA Letter to CMS on Medicare Quality Programs – May 21, 2014
As penalties increase for failure to successfully participate in CMS’ quality improvement programs, UCAOA offered suggestions regarding the Physician Quality Reporting System and the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier Program as they relate to physicians providing care in the urgent care center setting.

UCAOA Letter to CMS on Network Adequacy – April 21, 2014
UCAOA’s comments on CMS’ decision to begin assessing provider networks using a “reasonable access” standard when determining whether a health insurance issuer offering a Qualified Health Plan in the Federally-facilitated marketplace has a network that is sufficient in number and types of providers.

UCAOA Leadership Visit to Washington D.C. – December 19, 2013
A team of UCAOA members comprising UCAOA President Nathan Newman, MD; Committee Chair and UCAOA Vice President Laurel Stoimenoff, PT; UCAOA Secretary Steve Sellars, MBA; UCAOA Treasurer Rob Kimball, MD; local committee member Bob Graw, MD; Camille Bonta of Summit Health Care Consulting; and UCAOA CEO Joanne Ray, visited Washington D.C. to meet with representatives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

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