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September 26, 2018

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IDSA and HIVMA Members Keep Up Pressure on CMS to Delay Harmful E/M Payment Proposal

IDSA and HIVMA continue to urge members of Congress to ask the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the implementation of the proposed E/M payment and documentation policies and to work with the medical community to develop an alternative that is more balanced and fair to both patients and providers. The importance of this issue was recently highlighted in an Op-Ed piece by IDSA Board Member Daniel McQuillen MD, FIDSA, “Infectious Disease Care is Complex, Medicare Reimbursement Rules Should Reflect That,” in The Hill, a popular and often read Capitol Hill newspaper. In response to our advocacy, a bipartisan group of House and Senate members have joined the call to CMS to delay E/M revisions to payment and documentation.

Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Doris Matsui (D-HI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), circulated a sign-on letter to CMS requesting a delay in the implementation of the E/M proposed policy changes. The letter, which garnered over 90 signatures, asks CMS to work with medical societies to develop an alternative plan that protects physicians and patients, expresses concern that the E/M proposal was made with little input from physicians, and undervalues the time and expertise of those who treat patients with complex medical conditions. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) circulated a similar letter to the agency asking for a delay in implementation of the proposal and provided an alternative path forward that protects physicians and patients.

Thanks in large part to the urging of Dr. McQuillen and fellow members Barbara Murray, MD, FIDSA, and Russ Petrak, MD, FIDSA, House Ways and Means full Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent their own letter to CMS urging a delay while proposing a tiered approach to E/M payments as suggested by Dr. McQuillen.

IDSA will continue to work with Congress and other medical societies to ask for a delay in implementation of the proposed E/M policies which will allow time for development of alternative proposals.

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