American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2013 Legislative Priorities

Protecting the Physician-Patient Relationship

  • ACOG opposes efforts to inappropriately interfere with the patient-physician relationship.
     

Highlight Women’s Health

  • Unveil Women’s Health Resolution at CLC
  • Introduce House and Senate Resolutions supporting Women’s Health
  • Build support in Congress and the advocacy community for the Women’s Health Resolution
     

Protect Public Health Safety Net for Women

  • Oppose further cuts to discretionary programs
     
  • Oppose cuts to Medicaid and proposals that shift costs to states, including:
    • Block grants
    • Per capita caps
    • Provider tax cuts
    • Global caps
       
  • Support Medicaid cost savings opportunities, including:
    • Women’s medical home
    • Other options proposed by the Partnership for Medicaid
       
  • Oppose cuts to Graduate Medical Education
     

Fix Medicare Physician Payment

  • Support SGR repeal.
  • Oppose IPAB.
  • Protect ob-gyn ultrasound from any reimbursement or coverage cuts.
     

Prevent Unintended Pregnancies and Reduce the Need for Abortions

  • Every woman should have access to all reproductive health services. ACOG will promote access to contraception, including emergency contraception, for females of reproductive age, and advocate the use of medically accurate information.
     

Enact Meaningful Medical Liability Reform

  • ACOG supports caps on non-economic damages. While we work toward that goal, we support meaningful alternative reforms.
     

Make Medical Student Loan Repayment More Affordable

  • Change federal loan repayment requirements to ensure interest deferral periods are not shorter than residency program durations.
     

Ensure ACA Implementation Meets the Needs of Ob-Gyns and Our Patients

We support proper implementation of:

  • Maternity coverage for all women in all plans.
     
  • Coverage and cost-sharing protections for women’s preventive health services under all plans.
     
  • Health insurance market reforms that:
    • 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
       
  • Medicaid Expansion to Cover Individuals Up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line.

We support:

  • Testing a woman’s medical home, including care for pregnancy, recognizing that many women consider their ob-gyns their principle care physicians and rely on direct access to them.
     
  • Research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments of postpartum depression and psychosis and programs to 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.
     
  • Reauthorizing activities under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

We support repeal of:

  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
     
  • 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 support modifications to:

  • Extending the Medicaid and Medicare primary care payment increases to ob-gyns.
     
  • Make the EHR Incentive Program easier for small group providers to participate.
     
  • Reducing the reporting burden for physician practices to comply with e-prescribing, PQRS and EHR incentive programs.
     

Making Obstetrics and Maternity Safer (MOMS)

  • Support Modest Funding Increases for:
    • Biomedical research at NIH to address prematurity, obesity, maternal morbidity, and health disparities
    • Data collection and surveillance programs, including vital statistics systems, maternal mortality reviews, and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
    • Maternal health programs, including the Title V Maternal/Child Health Block Grant, Fetal Infant Mortality Review, and Title X Family Planning
       
  • Reintroduce MOMS Legislation, including:
    • Maternal Health Accountability Act
    • Gestational Diabetes Act
    • Birth Certificate Enhancement Act
    • Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act
    • Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Awareness Act
    • Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education, and Awareness Act
    • Health Equity and Accountability Act
       
  • 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) and dissemination through Medicaid Adult Health Measures and CHIP Quality Measures programs.
    • Support reauthorization of CHIP Quality Measures program
    • Widespread use of integrated health information technology
    • Comparative-effectiveness research
    • Evidence-based guidelines and patient education material
    • Participating in Strong Start and other HHS programs to reduce elective induction pre-39 weeks, promote the use of evidence-based practice guidelines, and identify innovative and best practices in care coordination.
       
  • 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
    • Seek designation of maternity care shortage areas through the National Health Service Corps
    • Ensure that the educational and professional standards of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) are used to evaluate and certify all midwives
    • Increase the medical student loan deferral period to match the length of residency

Contact:

Government Affairs Staff 
Mailing Address:
PO Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090-6920
Phone (202) 863-2509
Fax (202) 488-3985
govtrel@acog.org

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