Alliance for Specialty Medicine
The Alliance of Specialty Medicine advocates for sound federal health care policy that fosters patient access to the highest quality specialty care and improves timely access to high-quality medical care for all Americans. As patient and physician advocates, the Alliance welcomes the opportunity to proactively participate in the formation of health and Medicare policy and looks forward to working with this Administration and Congress. Outlined below are key policy issues of importance to ensure access to specialty care and to promote transparency, oversight and accountability in the healthcare system.
Annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Conference
Fair Medicare Physician Reimbursement
The Alliance appreciates that Congress devoted a portion of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), P.L. 114-10, to streamlining existing federal quality reporting mandates, addressing obstacles that currently prevent specialists from participating meaningfully in these programs, and reducing the amount of physician payment at risk. We also appreciate that MACRA affords medical specialty societies the opportunity to work closely with federal agencies to determine how best to interpret the law. In the interim, many of our societies’ members continue to struggle with satisfying the requirements of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Meaningful Use program because the measures are not relevant to specialty medicine and the unique patient populations our providers treat.
The Alliance strongly opposes the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and urges its repeal. The IPAB, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, is a group of 15 unelected, unaccountable individuals who will have the authority to make significant changes to Medicare. Individuals with little or no clinical expertise must not make important health care decisions without the resources or the oversight required to protect seniors’ access to care.
Medical Liability Reform
The Alliance supports meaningful medical liability reform that reduces growth in health care costs, stabilizes professional liability insurance premiums, preserves access to specialty care, and encourages physician engagement in meaningful quality improvement activities.
Improve the Quality of Patient Care
The Alliance wholly supports efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care for all Americans and member organizations are actively engaged in quality improvement efforts. The Alliance supports positive incentives that assist specialty physicians with piloting, and gradually adopting, new workflows, data collection mechanisms, measures, and technologies that will enable them to provide the highest quality and most appropriate care for patients. We oppose financial penalties and untenable deadlines that do not promote, but rather hinder, specialty physicians’ ability to improve quality. We also support recognition of more diverse quality improvement activities and metrics by public and private payers that account for the unique care provided by specialty physicians to their patients.
Support Medical Innovation
The Alliance of Specialty Medicine supports the bipartisan effort to improve the discovery, development and delivery that support continued innovation in our health care system. Specialty physicians encourage support for medical innovation that integrates the patient’s perspective into the regulatory process; facilitates responsible communication of scientific and medical developments; modernizes clinical trials; fosters the future of science, including encouraging young scientists; invests in advancing research; incentivizes the development of new drugs and devices for unmet medical needs; promotes interoperability; and supports 21st Century digital medicine by facilitating data sharing and the use of new technologies.