Washington Watch Weekly - November 11, 2022 | ASCRS
Washington Watch

Washington Watch Weekly - November 11, 2022

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This resource is available for ASCRS and ASOA members.

Share Your Opinion on the FDA’s LASIK Draft Guidance by Nov. 25

ASCRS is asking its members to voice their opinion on the FDA’s draft guidance on patient labeling recommendations for LASIK lasers. The Society has put together an advocacy toolkit to help members and their patients share their opinions about the draft guidance with the FDA.

In July, the FDA released this draft guidance based on concerns from some patients that are not receiving and/or understanding information regarding the benefits and risks of LASIK devices. ASCRS has major concerns with the FDA’s draft guidance as it is highly biased and misleading to potential patients regarding the high success rate of LASIK surgery.

The ASCRS advocacy toolkit includes background information on the issue, including problematic themes, instructions to share comments with the FDA, and a modifiable letter you can share with patients requesting that they provide input.

Find the full toolkit here (ASCRS or ASOA member login required) and provide your comments to the FDA by the November 25 deadline. If you have any questions, please contact Brad Gruehn, ASCRS Chief of Government Affairs, at bgruehn@ascrs.org.

2023 Medicare Payment Rule Cuts Ophthalmology by -4%; Act Now to Help Secure Physician Payment Fix

As we previously reported, on November 1, 2022, CMS released the calendar year (CY) 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule that affects payments for physicians. According to the most recent estimates of the impact of the MPFS rule and the expiration of the 3% increase to the Medicare conversion factor, ophthalmology will be negatively impacted by -4% in CY 2023. As a reminder, following ASCRS and the medical community’s advocacy, the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act was signed into law in December 2021, which modified the CY 2022 MPFS final rule to include a 3% positive adjustment to the MPFS conversion factor for all services in CY 2022. However, this adjustment is set to expire at the end of CY 2022.

ASCRS is strongly encouraging all ASCRS and ASOA members to visit the ASCRS advocacy center to send a message to your representative telling them to stop the cuts.

CMS Releases Update on New Strategy to Support Value-based Specialty Care

On Monday, November 7, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) released a report providing an update on its new strategy for implementing value-based specialty care. The Innovation Center identified four key areas to improve access to integrated specialty care and is proposing a comprehensive strategy to address each area: 1) enhance transparency in clinician performance, 2) continued deployment of episode payment models that align with ACOs and primary care, including mandatory models, 3) supporting specialists to further embed in primary-care focused models, and 4) creating incentives within population-based models to encourage specialty care integration.

In the coming year, the Innovation Center announced it would accelerate the development and implementation of value-based payment models, especially by increasing access to coordinated and high-value specialty care.

We Need Your Input: Take a Short Survey on Prior Authorization

ASCRS has been working with our colleagues in the Alliance of Specialty Medicine on a survey that will be used to aid in our advocacy with federal lawmakers and regulators to address utilization management issues, like prior authorization, within the ophthalmic and other medical specialty communities. The survey focuses specifically on access to specialty care, and your answers will help guide our advocacy efforts. We would greatly appreciate it if you took a few minutes to help us in our advocacy by participating in the survey. To access the survey, click here.

The survey closes on Wednesday, November 16. To learn more about the Alliance and its work, please visit www.specialtydocs.org.

2022 Election Results – Control of U.S. Senate and House Still Pending

If you’ve been following the 2022 mid-term election results, you know that neither control of the U.S. Senate nor the U.S. House of Representatives has been determined yet as there are still many races that are too close to call or that have mail-in ballots still being counted. However, the good news is that the two ophthalmologists in Congress, Senator Rand Paul, MD (R-KY) and Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD (R-IA), both of whom received support from eyePAC, won reelection! Otherwise, here’s where things stand as of now:

U.S. Senate:
48 Dems (+1 Pickup)/49 Republicans/3 Races Undecided (Arizona, Georgia, Nevada)

If either party wins both Arizona and Nevada, then that party will be in control of the Senate during the upcoming 118th Congress. However, if those states split, then it will come down to the runoff in Georgia in December.

U.S. House:
192 Dems (+4 Pickups)/209 Republicans (+16 Pickups)/34 Races Undecided

218 is required for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is still highly likely Republicans will take control of the House, but it may be a very thin margin.

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