Advocacy Chair

Srihari S. Naidu, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI

NYACC in Action

Leadership Testimonials

Joseph Tartaglia, MD, FACC

NYACC’s delegate to the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)

Michael J. Wolk, MD, MACC

NYACC’s Interspecialty Committee Representative for the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)

Advocacy

Whether it is sending an email to members of Congress, hosting lawmakers at a practice visit, or going to Washington D.C. as part of the annual Legislative Conference, there are many ways for you to be an effective advocate.

Note: The New York State Chapter relies upon its Government Relations Committee and its close association with the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and other New York State Specialty Society in order to monitor legislative and regulatory activities and the initiation of grassroots lobbying efforts.

Members of the NYACC Advocacy Committee are:

  • Chair – Srihari S. Naidu, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI
  • Dimitry Feldman, MD, FACC
  • Sei Iwai, MD, FACC
  • Rajiv Jauhar, MD, FACC
  • Suneet Mittal, MD, FACC

3/24/2020 – Telehealth, Licensure/Practice Across State Lines & Liability (Good Samaritan Health Professional Act (S. 1350/H.R. 6283)

Amid COVID-19 concerns, it is far from business as usual in most state capitols, with executive and legislative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic evolving rapidly. At this time, all states have taken some type of executive level action to encourage social distancing, such as closing schools, placing limits on public gatherings, or voluntary or mandatory closure of nonessential business. Many legislatures have temporarily suspended their legislative sessions to comply with limits on public gatherings, while others are rushing to finish essential business, like budgets and urgent COVID-19 bills, as quickly as possible. Many of the same concerns and requests for governmental action communicated by ACC, AMA, and others at the federal level are also being shared by many different stakeholders with state policymakers. These requests include additional action to address shortages of PPE and essential equipment to care for patients, reducing barriers to telehealth, and economic support for practices and institutions to preserve the healthcare system, patient access, and jobs.

Telehealth

Federal action has significantly expanded access to telehealth for Medicare and Medicaid patients, but state barriers related to coverage, modality, payment, and licensure also must be addressed. ACC has called for more aggressive action at the federal level on such issues as allowing voice-only and easing rules around interstate care, but some states have already taken significant action of their own. The Center for Connected Health Policy is tracking COVID-19 related state actions specific to telehealth, in particular those related to coverage and payment.

Licensure and Practice Across State Lines

The Federation of State Medical Boards is tracking states waiving licensure requirements and renewals. However, some state licensure waivers may be limited to volunteer services and may not cover general telehealth services.

Liability

At the federal level, ACC supports the Good Samaritan Health Professional Act (S. 1350/H.R. 6283), which would apply limited civil liability protections to volunteer clinicians during a federally declared disaster.

6/25/2019 – Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3107)

Significant, bipartisan federal legislation was recently introduced that would provide necessary reforms to the prior authorization process. We urge you to ask your member of Congress to support the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3107). The legislation would make several changes to items and services in Medicare Advantage plans. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Create a “real-time” electronic prior authorization process, developed by the Secretary of HHS, for items and services that are routinely approved;
  • Improve transparency by requiring plans to report to CMS on the extent of their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials;
  • Require plans to adopt transparent prior authorization programs that are reviewed annually, adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines, and include continuity of care for individuals transitioning between coverage to minimize any disruption in care;
  • Hold plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and to provide rationales for denials;
  • Prohibit additional prior authorization for medically-necessary services performed during a surgical or invasive procedure that already received, or did not initially require prior authorization.

The ACC has been a driving force behind the introduction of this legislation, working with the authors to ensure that this will make a series of positive reforms to improve patient care. It is our hope that this important step forward will bring about much needed changes to the prior authorization process.

Please urge your member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 3107 to reduce unnecessary barriers to patient care.

10/23/2018 – ACC Celebrates 2018 Legislative Conference Success

Another ACC Legislative Conference is in the books, and – with a new attendance record of nearly 500 members, including strong representation from the Fellows in Training, Cardiovascular Team, Early Career, Cardiovascular Administrators and Women in Cardiology sections – this year was truly one for the ages. Thank you to all attendees and contributors that made this conference such a resounding success!

The highlight of Legislative Conference is face-to-face meetings between ACC members, legislators and their staffs. This year, conference attendees urged lawmakers to support the easing of administrative burdens, funding for clinical research and collaboration across party lines on cardiovascular priorities. Excitingly, the College has already seen significant results from these advocacy efforts. The final Congressional sign-on letter addressing prior authorization burdens, led by Reps. Phil Roe, MD, (R-TN) and Ami Bera, MD, (D-CA), was sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with a total of 103 signatures. Prior to Legislative Conference, the letter had 55 signatures, but through meetings on Capitol Hill, ACC members managed to pick up an additional 48 signatures! ACC members should be commended for this noteworthy achievement. Thank your member of Congress for signing this important letter through the ACC Advocacy Action Alert system.

There are a variety of opportunities to continue your advocacy efforts throughout the year. Stay in contact with your federal and state lawmakers; work with ACC Advocacy staff to host practice visits and lobby days in your state; stay tuned to @Cardiology (Twitter) and the ACC Advocate newsletter for future advocacy information; and, lastly, save the date for next year’s Legislative Conference, taking place Nov. 2 – 5, 2019!

1/30/2018 – MSSNY’s Lobby Day (3/7) Will be Here Before You Know It!

MSSNY’s “Physician Advocacy Day” will be held on Wednesday, March 7, in the Lewis Swyer Theatre in ‘the Egg,’ located at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY.

Join your colleagues from all around New York State and come to MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day to speak with your legislators and key policymakers to ensure they’re making the right choices for New York’s physicians and their patients.

Join us to urge your legislators to:

  • Reduce excessive health insurer prior authorization hassles that needlessly delay patient care;
  • Reject inappropriate scope of practice expansions;
  • Reduce the high cost of medical liability insurance
  • Reject burdensome mandates that interfere with patient care delivery
  • Reject the enablement of corporate owned retail clinics
  • Preserve opportunities for our medical students and residents to become New York’s future health care leaders

Register here.

7/25/2017 – Senate Healthcare Vote

In advance of the upcoming vote to repeal Obamacare, ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, released a statement saying:

“In light of new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, it is clear that the health reform measures being contemplated in the Senate, whether the Better Care Reconciliation Act or the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, would result in the loss of insurance coverage for millions of Americans, limiting access to care for those who need it most,” said Walsh. “The ACC opposes both of these approaches to health reform. Instead, we urge Senate leaders and members on both sides of the aisle to work in an open, bipartisan process to advance concepts that align with the ACC’s Principles for Health Reform. These principles prioritize patient access to meaningful insurance coverage and protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions, goals that would advance the outcome we all strive for: a healthcare system that strengthens and secures the highest quality care for all Americans.”

Walsh reiterated the ACC’s opposition to the Senate’s recent approaches to health care reform in a letter, sent by ACC staff to all members of the Senate today. The letter urges legislators to prioritize patient access to insurance coverage as health reform efforts move forward. The ACC’s Health Affairs Committee and Advocacy staff are closely monitoring the situation. Stay tuned to ACC.org and the Advocate newsletter for updates. You can also follow @Cardiology on Twitter.

Read Walsh’s letter here.

6/30/2017 – Have you registered for Leg Conference 2017 yet??

>> http://www.acc.org/legislativeconference

6/28/2017 – The ACC released a statement of opposition yesterday following release of the CBO analysis

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced yesterday afternoon that any votes related to the Senate’s health reform legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), would be postponed until after the upcoming July 4 congressional recess. Sen. McConnell made the announcement after it became clear that there was insufficient support for the procedural motion required to begin consideration of the bill.

A final vote on the bill was originally planned this week. However, concerns from senators and outside stakeholders mounted yesterday, after the release of the official analysis of the legislation’s impact by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO estimates that passage of BCRA would result in an estimated 22 million individuals losing health insurance over 10 years. This number is only slightly lower than the number of individuals rendered uninsured by the version of the legislation passed by the House of Representatives. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.

CBO also found that lower financial assistance in this legislation could make premiums unaffordable for many low-income people and raise deductibles as well. The bill would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017 – 2026 period by $321 billion. The ACC released a statement of opposition yesterday following release of the CBO analysis:

“The Congressional Budget Office analysis makes clear that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would lead to a loss of coverage for millions of Americans and limit access to care for our most vulnerable populations. The ACC is deeply concerned by the potential impact not only on our own patients, but for all Americans who need care,” said Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC. “The ACC opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act as it does not align with our Principles for Health Reform, which stress the need for patient access to meaningful insurance coverage and high quality care. We urge senators to move forward on a bipartisan basis to promote the reforms necessary to strengthen and improve our health care system. We offer our continued support and expertise to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as we work on the goal we all share – to provide access for all Americans to the finest care in the world.”

2/23/2017 – Cardiac Rehab Bill Introduced in the House

Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and John Lewis (D-GA), both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently reintroduced legislation – H.R. 1155 – that would expand access to cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) by allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists to supervise cardiac, intensive cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs.

The ACC worked with the American Heart Association to get this legislation reintroduced. “Cardiac rehab can be a vital component of a patient’s recovery from a heart attack, heart surgery or for management of heart failure. Supervision requirements for cardiac rehab are currently more stringent than other outpatient services; this negatively impacts access for our patients in areas with physician shortages and drives up costs for these programs,” said ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC.

“If enacted, this legislation will allow the cardiovascular community’s well-qualified advanced practice providers to provide the day-to-day supervision of cardiac rehab and help us meet the needs of our patients. We thank Rep. Jenkins and Rep. Lewis for their leadership and commitment.”

The ACC offers a number of ways for members to get involved in advocating for health policies that ensure continued patient access to quality, cost-effective care. For more details, visit ACC’s National Advocacy site