NASS Insider


April 18, 2023


NASS Members Will Take on Capitol Hill This Month – Here’s How You Can Help


DC
On April 25-26, dozens of NASS members from around the country are gathering in Washington, DC, to meet with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the most pressing issues facing spine specialists and their patients.

Physicians are facing significant challenges that hinder patient care and worsen physician burnout. Annual cuts to the Medicare physician fee schedule continue to hurt physicians and will ultimately worsen seniors’ access to care. Prior authorization requirements lead to significant care delays and unnecessarily burden physician practices. And, the No Surprises Act has not been rolled out in accordance with Congressional intent and unfairly favors insurers in disputes.

These are the key issues NASS members will be discussing in their meeting on Capitol Hill. Even though you may not be there in Washington, you can still help! Right now, you can take direct action and contact your members of Congress about these critical issues. By doing so, you are amplifying the voice of spine specialists across the nation and supporting the NASS members having these in-person conversations.

These are the three action alerts we have set up to support your colleagues in Washington:
  • Urge Congress to Permanently Fix Medicare Pay Cuts – Every year, physicians must go to Congress and ask them to prevent impending Medicare physician pay cuts. While we have prevented most of them, some have still gone through, and more are going to come. This cycle needs to end. Contact your legislators and urge them to host hearings, roundtables and other discussions to put forward a permanent legislative solution to this problem.

  • Push for Proper Implementation of the No Surprises Act – The law requires arbiters to equally consider several factors, including median in-network rates, the physician’s training and experience, the severity of the patient’s medical condition, and much more. However, HHS has required arbiters to select the offer closest to the median in-network rate. This goes against the language of the bill and unfairly tips the scales in favor of the insurers. Tell your legislators to press the administration to implement the bill as written and stop hurting physicians in these disputes.

  • Pass Prior Authorization Reform – Last year, the House passed the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, which would streamline prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program. Unfortunately, it did not pass the Senate. It’s time for Congress to take definitive action on this issue and lift these restrictive burdens placed on physicians and patients. Urge your legislators to pass this critical piece of legislation.
If you would like more information about how to get involved in NASS advocacy efforts, please feel free to reach out to our team at advocacy@spine.org.
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