Healthcare providers can breathe a sigh of relief as the Senate passed the H.R. 2 bill late last Tuesday night before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services planned to reduce physician reimbursement by 21.2 percent, as mandated by SGR. President Obama has said he will sign the bill. However, due to timing, it is expected that a “small volume of claims” will be subject to the April 1 cuts. CMS has said that those claims will be reprocessed automatically so that the providers will be made whole and further cuts will be averted.
Your ASE volunteer Advocacy Committee, chaired by David Wiener, MD, FASE, along with ASE’s VP of Health Policy, Irene Butler, our legislative advisor Diane Millman, and lobbyist Peggy Tighe worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring this bill to Congress without the inclusion of site neutrality language. This was ASE’s key issue this year– to assure protection of our patients ability to access quality cardiovascular care, especially in rural areas often served by one hospital. Your grassroots efforts combined with the ASE advocacy efforts ensured that patient access to echocardiography was preserved in this bill.
You can be confident that ASE continues to work on your behalf with a strong and well organized coalition on this and other issues, such as the opposing the elimination of the in-office ancillary exception. ASE is the leading voice on the Hill for echo-related issues and your membership is key to making this monitoring and activity happen.