April 16, 2020

Organized Medicine Recommends Next-Step Policies for Congress

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) joined the American Medical Association and a broad group of national specialty and state medical societies this week to provide a comprehensive outline of critical policy recommendations for Congressional leaders.

While passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was a meaningful step in preserving the health care infrastructure, additional Congressional actions are needed to confront this emergency of extraordinary — and yet, unknown — proportions and ensure the long-term viability of physician practices as part of the nation’s essential health care system.

To achieve these goals, the April 15 letter urged Congress to advance or fortify the following:

  • Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program
  • Traditional Medicare and Medicaid payments
  • Direct financial support for physician practices
  • Small business loans 
  • Telehealth
  • Support for resident physicians and students
  • Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act mandate
  • Medical liability

In this comprehensive letter, the ACR was successful in securing language urging the waiving of affiliation rules for Health Care and Social Assistance businesses that were previously waived for the Accommodation and Food Services industry, as well as language urging Congress to protect physicians who face significant Medicare reimbursement cuts on Jan. 1, 2021, as a result of the recent Medicare Physician Fee Schedule increases to evaluation and management codes.

Given the ongoing fluidity of Congressional activity regarding COVID-related legislation, the ACR continues to monitor these efforts closely. We will keep members apprised of these activities and will provide opportunities for grassroots engagement as the next legislative package nears completion.