Published: May 19, 2023

Academy Federal Legislative Priorities

Academy leaders advocate for Medicare physician payment and prior authorization reforms in Congress.

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AAO-HNS President-elect Douglas D. Backous, MD, and Advocacy Coordinator R. Peter Manes, MD, traveled to Washington, DC, in April to advocate for the Academy’s 2023 federal legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. The Academy held nearly two dozen meetings with congressional staff and health-related committees from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Dr. Backous and Dr. Manes were also able to meet directly with several physicians serving in Congress, including U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD (R-IA), Rich McCormick, MD (R-GA), Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC), Andy Harris, MD (R-MD), and Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA).

Shutterstock 2082475843During the meetings, Dr. Backous and Dr. Manes stressed the importance of reforming the Medicare physician payment system to provide stability for physician practices and protect seniors’ access to care. Specifically, they urged Members of Congress to support the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474), which would tie Medicare physician reimbursement to the Medicare Economic Index, a common measure of inflation, thereby strengthening beneficiaries’ access to care. Academy members in the United States are encouraged to join in this legislative push by contacting their federal representative and urging them to cosponsor H.R. 2474.

Dr. Backous and Dr. Manes also discussed how burdensome prior authorization processes impede patients’ timely access to care and needlessly increase physicians’ administrative workload. To that end, Dr. Backous and Dr. Manes highlighted bipartisan legislation from the 117th Congress and proposed regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as potential reform mechanisms that the AAO-HNS strongly support. As Congress explores legislative solutions to the issues most significantly impacting the specialty, the Academy will continue to ensure the voice of otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons is heard on Capitol Hill.

Learn more about the Academy’s federal legislative priorities for the 118th Congress.

More from June 2023 – Vol. 42, No. 5