As you are aware, Medicare has finalized plans to significantly cut colonoscopy reimbursement beginning January 2016. Did you know that in anticipation for these cuts, the ACG has urged Congress to pass the SCREEN ACT (S. 1079, HR 2035)? The SCREEN Act would keep colonoscopy reimbursement at CY 2015 levels until the new Medicare reimbursement system begins in 2019.
Why should your legislators support the SCREEN Act?
The SCREEN Act is the only bill currently in Congress addressing these forthcoming cuts. Call your Members of Congress and urge them to pass the SCREEN Act (S.1079/H.R.2035) this year.
Connect to your Member of Congress via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard by calling 202-224-3121.
How can I get my colleagues and patients involved?
You can take action at the local and national level to express your frustration and to oppose these cuts.
Sign ACG’s petition, and urge your colleagues and patients to sign it as well. ACG’s Medicare Colonoscopy Petition
Please note that these numbers reflect the totals of both the online signatures and paper petitions submitted to the ACG office. How active is your state compared to others? Take it upon yourselves to drive up your state’s numbers!
Get your practice and state GI society involved. Urge them to contact the congressional delegation to help stop these cuts. Here is a strategic “playbook” for GI physicians from the ACG: Access the “Playbook”
Other Updates: The Removing Barriers for Colorectal Cancer Screening Act
Great news! Thanks in part to ACG members advocating for this bill, the Removing Barriers for Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (HR 1220) now has over 200 House cosponsors. Let’s keep it up! HR 1220 is legislation introduced by Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) that would eliminate Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing when a screening colonoscopy turns therapeutic. The companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S.624) was introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). The SCREEN Act also addresses this cost-sharing issue, along with providing a resolution to looming Medicare reimbursement cuts.
Whitfield Knapple, MD, FACG
Chair, ACG National Affairs Committee