AANEM advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. are starting to pay off. Following extensive lobbying by the AANEM State Liaisons, Advocacy Advisors, staff, and representatives from the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington, we are proud to announce that we were able to successfully obtain language in the Senate Appropriations bill requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to respond, on record, to the question, “What have they done in response to the 2014 OIG Report on EDX Medicine
Electrodiagnostic Tests.—The Committee requests an update from CMS submitted to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the three recommendations proposed by the 2014 OIG Report: “Questionable Billing for Medicare Electrodiagnostic Tests”.
“Our hope is that this report language will cause CMS to re-open our discussion on how to ensure that patients receive only quality EDX medicine from qualified providers,” said AANEM’s health policy director, Millie Suk, JD, MPP. AANEM andother stakeholders, met with CMS last fall to discuss the adoption of EDX medicine standards of care based upon AANEM’s EDX Laboratory Accreditation program, but CMS did not seem interested in undertaking any such efforts without directive from Congress. As a result, the AANEM State Liaisons met with their legislators on Capitol Hill in May to specifically request Congressional assistance. According to Ms. Suk, “The Congressional offices were overwhelmingly supportive of our efforts.” AANEM is continuing to work with legislators on a sign-on letter in the Senate, and bill language (in the form of an offset) in the House.
In response to this success, AANEM Advocacy Advisor Peter Grant, MD, said, “A number of us have spent a lot of time and effort on Capitol Hill working with the Health and Medicine Council of Washington and meeting with members of Congress and the Senate. It is gratifying and energizing to see our efforts pay off in this way. There is more work to do, but this is a big step forward for the AANEM, for our medical practices, and for our patients.”
AANEM Past President, Vince Tranchitella, MD, who has been very active in these efforts, said, “Although this may be considered a small victory, it is definitely a positive step. The tireless efforts of those who have volunteered so much of their time have had an impact, evidenced by the fact that congress is beginning to listen to our message. I share with AANEM a deep, sincere appreciation for all those who have contributed in this effort. However, it would be much easier to spread this message with more volunteers and more advocacy donations! I hope we can continue to mobilize our members to work on behalf of our specialty, ultimately improving the quality of care on which our patients depend, and deserve.”
AANEM policy staff will continue to keep members apprised of this efforts as they continue to progress. Help AANEM continue these efforts by donating to the advocacy fund: http://www.aanem.org/Advocacy/Advocacy-Fund