ACOG 2012 Legislative Priorities
Ensure Medicare Physician Payments Provide Access to High Quality Ob-Gyn Care and Protect Women's Health in Medicaid
- Supports SGR repeal.
- Will develop expertise to guide Congress and policy makers on payment reform options that would best serve the needs of our patients.
- Will protect ob-gyn ultrasound from any reimbursement or coverage cuts.
- Opposes changes to the Medicaid program that jeopardize access to care for women in need.
- Supports immediate suspension of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) required implementation of ICD-10, and re-evaluation of the penalty program timelines associated with the Medicare health IT programs underway.
Ensure Federal Support of Graduate Medical Education
We support continued federal Medicare and Medicaid funding of Graduate Medical Education to address growing ob-gyn shortages and ensure access to care.
Enact Meaningful Medical Liability Reform
ACOG supports caps on non-economic damages and other reforms like those in the California and Texas laws. While we work toward that goal, we support meaningful alternative reforms.
Make Obstetrics and Maternity Safer (MOMS) Support Federal Research and Programs to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes
Focus on Obesity Research, Treatment, and Prevention including:
- The impact of obesity on maternal health
- The impact of obesity on infant health outcomes
- The relationship between obesity and prematurity
- The effects of weight and nutrition on pregnancy outcomes
Improve Data On Maternal and Infant Health, including:
- Adoption of standardized electronic birth and death records
- State maternal mortality reviews
- Safe Motherhood, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), and Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) programs
- Data on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability
Support Maternal and Infant Health Programs, including:
- The Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR)
- The Maternal Child Health Block Grant
- Title X Family Planning
Support Research and Programs to Eliminate Disparities, including in:
- Preterm births and low birth weight babies
- Access to and utilization of preconception, prenatal, and family planning care
- Breast-feeding promotion
- Cultural competency in health care delivery
- Treating sexually transmitted infections
Continue Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Initiatives, including:
- Developing a Maternity Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS)
- Ob-gyn performance measures developed by ACOG through the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI)
- Widespread use of integrated health information technology
- Comparative-effectiveness research
- Evidence-based guidelines and patient education material
Launch Maternity Care Delivery Demonstration Projects, including:
- A women’s medical home, tested through the CMS Innovation Center
- Centering maternity care
- Collaborative care practice models
Require Appropriate Training And Adequate Numbers Of All Maternity Care Providers
- Identify maternity care provider shortage areas and support loan repayment programs for ob-gyns, certified nurse midwives and certified midwives.
- Ensure that the educational and professional standards of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) are used to evaluate and certify all midwives.
Ensure that Changes to and Implementation of Health Reform Meets the Needs of Ob-Gyns and Our Patients
We support retaining and proper implementation of:
- Maternity coverage for all women in all plans.
- Coverage without cost-sharing for women’s preventive health services under all plans, including contraceptive coverage.
- Health insurance market reforms:
- Prohibit use of pre-existing condition exclusions, gender rating, coverage rescissions, and annual or lifetime benefit caps;
- Guarantee renewability and availability of coverage; and
- Provide direct access to ob-gyn care.
- Testing a woman’s medical home, including care for pregnancy, breast cancer, and menopause, recognizing that many women consider their ob-gyns their principal care physicians and rely on direct access to them.
- Requirements for standardization and widespread adoption of integrated health information technology.
- Research the causes, diagnoses and treatments of postpartum depression and psychosis and assist women suffering PPD.
- Medicaid coverage for tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy to pregnant women.
- The Medicaid state option to expand coverage of family planning services for low-income women.
- Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
We support repeal of:
- The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
- Provisions that omit ob-gyns from Medicaid and Medicare primary care payment increases.
- The HHS Secretary’s authority to overrule the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Update Committee (RUC), through which medical services are valued.
- The budget neutral value-based payment modifier which will reallocate Medicare payment among physicians.
- Federal recognition of and reimbursement to untrained midwives delivering babies in out-of-hospital settings.
We insist that any health reform include:
- Meaningful medical liability reform.
- Repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.
Ensure Access to All Reproductive Health Services, Prevent Unintended Pregnancies and Reduce the Need for Abortions
ACOG will promote access to contraception, including emergency contraception, for females of reproductive age, and advocate the use of medically accurate information. ACOG opposes unnecessary regulations that limit or delay access to care.