Membership and Fellowship |
20 in 2020: A Snapshot of ACOG's Efforts to Support You, Your Practice, and Your Patients During This Unprecedented Time
It has been our honor to work for ACOG members and the patients they serve during these unprecedented times. Here is just a snapshot of what we accomplished for you and with you this year:
- Published new and updated clinical guidance, including 12 Practice Bulletins, 21 Committee Opinions, 8 Practice Advisories, 13 endorsements, and one Obstetric Care Consensus about emerging, late-breaking clinical issues.
- Launched a new website dedicated to ensuring that your patients have access to reliable health information online.
- Equipped you with resources to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing a new information source - physician and patient FAQs - to help you and your patients get answers to the most important questions about the pandemic as soon as they emerge.
- Successfully advocated to the Food and Drug Administration, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pregnant patients to not be excluded from use of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and released clinical guidance and a conversation guide to aid shared decision-making.
- Won reversal of two detrimental payment policies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); one would have cut payment for obstetric services and the other would have led to a 7.4 percent cut to gynecologic surgical services for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
- Successfully challenged burdensome regulatory restriction that singled out prescribing physicians and patients in need of mifepristone for early pregnancy termination, securing a nationwide court order temporarily blocking the in-person dispensing requirement duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Secured reimbursement from commercial payers, including coverage for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), removal of prior authorization for vaginosis, and expanded telehealth coverage, and through the Women’s Preventive Screening Initiative, ensured that anxiety screening will be covered with no co-pay to patients.
- Enhanced maternal health through strengthening the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM) program, with nearly three-quarters of U.S. states now enrolled as AIM states.
- Worked to keep you safe and to keep your practice afloat during the pandemic, advocating for access to personal protective equipment, securing relief payments to ob-gyn practices, and achieving payment parity for telehealth services.
- Amplified the voice of obstetrician-gynecologists, with ACOG representatives meeting regularly with Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, hosting virtual Congressional briefings, organizing the #ACOGvotes campaign to get out the vote in the 2020 elections, and the launch of Frontline Voices, a forum for ACOG members to share their experiences and hear how the pandemic has impacted others.
- Launched the Payer Advocacy and Policy Portal for coding billing, payer issues and policy questions, allowing our members and practice managers to find trusted answers to questions about coding and billing issues.
- Represented a valued voice to the courts, with ACOG’s brief cited in striking down unconstitutional restrictions on access to care in the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June Medical v. Russo and with 27 amicus briefs submitted in support of patient access to care.
- Convened more than 20 medical organizations dedicated to equitable care for patients to release the Collective Action Addressing Racism, outlining meaningful steps to address the historic and current inequities, change the culture of medicine, eliminate racism and racial inequities that lead to disparate health outcomes, and promote equity in women’s health and health care.
- Supported and amplified transformational work by maternal health advocates including observance of Black Maternal Health Week by hosting a virtual Congressional briefing on the impact of COVID-19 on racial inequities and maternal mortality and providing a key endorsement of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus.
- Issued a Call to Action to state officials and engaged in advocacy to ensure that even and especially during COVID-19, states prioritized equity in women’s health access and outcomes, valued fairly the care provided by obstetrician-gynecologists, made gains in protecting Medicaid access and coverage, defended patient access to safe, legal abortion, and embraced telehealth.
- Ensured that people covered by Medicaid at the outset of the pandemic remained covered through the duration of the public health emergency, secured Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma and Missouri, and won unanimous House approval of two critical maternal health bills.
- Launched the Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence workgroup to strengthen the ACOG community.
- Maintained valuable ACOG connections through the first-ever virtual conference, virtual Annual District meetings, virtual town halls, and even a virtual career fair, ensuring that even from afar, ACOG membership could bring people together.
- Submitted a total of 81 comment letters to CMS, Medicaid plans, and private payers related to obstetrician-gynecologist payment, 34 of which were related to coverage and physician payment during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Hosted dozens of continuing medical education activities to help ACOG members maintain their certification, including the Understanding Early Onset Breast Cancer Online Course Series, Coding On Demand, 20 eModules for self-learning, and the ACOG Strategies in Health Equity Webinar.