Florida Pathologists Advocate Congress to Increase Transparency, Accountability in Medicare’s Local Coverage Process at CAP Policy Meeting 2017

In a concerted effort to protect medical decision making for an optimal patient care, pathologists met with federal lawmakers to advocate for more transparency and accountability in the Medicare Local Coverage Determination process during the 2017 College of American Pathologists (CAP) Policy Meeting April 24-26 in Washington, DC.

More than 100 CAP members attended the Policy Meeting. The Florida representatives including Dr. Marilyn Bui of Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Anne Champeaux of University of South Florida, Dr. Janice McCall from Celebration, FL, Dr. Raouf Nakhleh of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, and Dr. Jeffrey Smith from Tarpon Spring, FL. Pathologists received the latest regulatory and legislative updates on physician reimbursement policy and reviewed opportunities to reduce regulation in the current political climate. Pathologists heard from officials from the American Medical Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in addition to experts from the CAP. Keynote speakers during the meeting featured Republican Senator John Boozman and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

On April 26, dozens of pathologists attended roughly 140 meetings with elected officials and their staff in the House and Senate. The members of our Florida group met with the legislative staff of Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Darin Soto and Congresswoman Lois Frankel. CAP members specifically asked their senators and representatives to support the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act. The legislation would improve the closed-door process Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) uses to develop LCD policies. Specifically, the bill would require MAC meetings to be open, disclosure of evidence used to develop LCDs, create an independent appeals process, and stop the abuse of LCDs as a backdoor to creating national coverage policy. You too can engage with our federal officials to support this legislation by using the CAP’s PathNET grassroots program

Visiting the Capital Hill is the highlight of this meeting which became fond memories of the Florida representatives. It is very inspiring to see that so many citizens are exercising their civic duties by knocking on the doors of their policy makers, engaging them in meaningful conversions and influencing them to vote to support the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act.  In the months ahead, registration will be open to attend the 2018 CAP Policy Meeting. The Policy Meeting is a complimentary benefit of CAP membership and a unique opportunity for pathologists to engage with policy influencers at the federal level. Your participation at this meeting is critically important to advocating for our specialty and your own pathology practice. Every member can make a difference and together we are stronger.

For more information, please read the latest issue of CAP STATLINE (STATLINE - College of American Pathologists).

Authors: Marilyn M. Bui, MD, PhD, Anne Champeaux, MD, Janice McCall, MD, Raouf Nakhleh, MD, and Jeffrey Smith, MD

As shown in the above picture, Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Ms. Disha Banik (Senator Bill Nelson’s Legislative Correspondent), Dr. Anne Champeaux, Dr. Janice McCall and Dr. Marilyn Bui (from left to right).        

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 8:15am