ACEP is an active force in Washington, D.C., working on important issues that affect emergency medical care. ACEP's federal advocacy efforts revolve around one thing: ensuring that life-saving emergency care is there when it's needed nationwide.
In addition, to advocacy on Capitol Hill, ACEP monitors and responses to federal regulations and other policies developed by federal agencies, such as Medicare and Medicaid to advocate on behalf of our members to reduce burdensome requirements that impact their ability to treat patients, improve federal reimbursement, and eliminate unfair billing practices instituted by payers that potentially violate federal laws and regulations such as EMTALA and the prudent layperson standard. Check out our Regs & Eggs blog for the latest regulatory updates.
Check out the latest version of Capital Minute to hear about ACEP's current federal advocacy efforts from ACEP Associate Executive Director for Public Affairs, Laura Wooster.
For someone experiencing a medical emergency, getting quality treatment as soon as possible should be the number one priority—not determining which providers are in-network, how much their deductible is, or thinking about how much treatment will cost. In fact, more than eight in 10 Americans believe the responsibility for costs associated with surprise bills rests on health insurance companies, not doctors or hospitals.
Read more about ACEP efforts to take patients out of the middle without compromising access to care.
As Medicare and other payers move away from fee-for-service toward more value-based care, ACEP has taken a leading role in getting emergency physicians in the driver’s seat to help manage this transition by developing the first, and only, emergency medicine-specific alternative payment model (APM), the Acute Unscheduled Care Model (AUCM) (pronounced “Awesome”). In September 2019, the HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, stated that he believes the core concepts of the AUCM should be incorporated into the APMs that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)’ Innovation Center (CMMI) is developing. ACEP has also launched our own Initiative to promote participation in EM-focused APMs like AUCM.
ACEP has heard that some of your hospitals are already implementing the 2020 AUC requirements, so we drafted a sample letter you can personalize to help you explain the emergency exemption to your administrators. Download it on the AUC section of our EHR advocacy page.
CMS recently released its proposed 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and it’s impactful for EM physicians because it includes proposals that affect Medicare physician payments.Read ACEP's summary of the regulation here and a summary of ACEP’s formal response to the regulation here.
ACEP knows violence in the ED is a serious and growing concern. Our 2018 survey reported that nearly half of EM physicians polled had been physically assaulted, with more than 60 percent occurring in the past year. Addressing this issue is one of ACEP’s top priorities, and we believe more needs to be done at the federal level to protect you and your patients. That is why, in addition to creating guidance and tools to help you handle violent episodes when they occur, we have been engaging directly with Congress and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—the federal agency responsible for assuring safe and healthy workplace conditions. While OSHA provides resources about how to reduce or prevent workplace violence, it does not have a standard in place on this critical issue. (A “standard” is OSHA’s method of instituting a requirement aimed at protecting workers.) Earlier this year, ACEP supported legislation to require OSHA to create such a standard, but OSHA is also working to develop a regulation that would implement a new standard for preventing workplace violence in health care.
October 24, 2018 - President Trump signed a sweeping legislative package of bills to address the nation's growing opioid epidemic. Included in the package are the “Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act” and the “Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms (POWER) Act,” both of which ACEP developed with the sponsoring members of Congress. Read the press release. Read more about ACEP's advocacy initiatives related to opioids.
September 6, 2018 - A key federal advisory committee has voted to recommend an ACEP-developed Alternative Payment Model (APM) to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar for full implementation. Get more information.
July 17, 2018 - The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) today filed suit against Anthem’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia in federal court in an effort to compel the insurance giant to rescind its controversial and dangerous emergency care policy that retroactively denies coverage for emergency patients.