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Federal Advocacy Overview

A unified voice for EM

"Emergency Medicine is being attacked from all sides. We need to fight for our patients, friends and family."

Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP

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.  


Emergency Physicians Are Working to Protect Patients From Surprise Bills

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.


ACEP's Capital Minute

This is a video update showing the latest developments coming out of Washington, D.C. that affect emergency physicians and patients.

June 14, 2019

This week, we dedicate the entire report to the critical issue of surprise billing.

  • The latest on surprise billing legislation
  • President Friedman's testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • New member-only toolkit to help you advocate for your patients on this issue


CDC Issues New Comments on its 2016 Opioid Guideline, Advises Against Misapplication

Earlier this week, the CDC issued new commentaryin the New England Journal of Medicine advising against misapplication of its 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The 2016 guideline was intended to help inform a clinician’s ability to provide treatment in the primary care setting; it was not intended as a rigid set of requirements or for application in acute care settings. ACEP has consistently voiced its concerns about misinterpretations of the original guideline and encourages its members to read the latest commentary from the CDC.

View ACEP's opioid resources.

ACEP Supports Workplace Violence Prevention Act

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. ACEP recently sent a letter of support for H.R. 1309: The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, asking Congress to consider how EDs are staffed to ensure the important provisions of this legislation are implemented appropriately. ACEP's lettter requested additional clarity of the legislation's wording to ensure any new federal requirements do not create any unintentional burdens for entities that do not control the health care care workplace.

ACEP Offers Proposed Framework for Protecting Patients When Emergency Care is Out-of-Network

Patients can’t choose where and when they will need emergency care – so they should not be punished financially for having emergencies. As legislators on Capitol Hill prepare to address the surprise billing issues that are affecting millions of patients across the country, ACEP has released a framework of proposed solutions to protect emergency patients.

Further details can also be found in ACEP's response to a data request sent by the Senate bipartisan transparency workgroup led by Senator Cassidy that is developing federal legislation to address surprise bills. 

MIPS/MACRA QPP "Promoting Interoperability" Category Exemption Deadline

December 14, 2018 - Most emergency physicians are exempt from this reporting category (formally the “Meaningful Use” program) of the CMS Quality Payment Program's MIPS track because they are “hospital-based” and use their hospital’s EHR. However, if you report as part of a group, you might not be exempt. ACEP has created an action alert to help you understand your options if you are not classified as “hospital-based.” Please review these documents immediately, as there is a deadline of December 31, 2018 to apply to CMS for a category exemption.

To learn more about MIPS and access ACEP resources and tools to check your eligibility with CMS, please visit ACEP's MIPS page

CMS Releases Final Rule on Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and MACRA/Quality Payment Program

November 1, 2018 - CMS has released its final rule laying out changes to Medicare for 2019 that will impact emergency physicians in a number of ways. Read ACEP's summary of the changes, or see how ACEP weighed in on the original proposed rule on behalf of emergency physicians in our comment letter. 

Two ACEP-developed Bills to Address the Opioid Epidemic from the Emergency Department Pass into Law

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

Federal Advisory Committee Recommends ACEP-Proposed Alternative Payment Model to HHS

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. The model joins only 4 other models to receive such a vote, out of 26 that have been proposed to date. More information here.

ACEP Takes Legal Action Against Anthem’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia

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.


Current Advocacy Initatives

Access to EM

Health Care Reform

Liability Reform

Medicare / Medicaid

Mental Health

Physician Reimbursement

Value of EM

Letters to Congress

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