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CAA PAC

The Cardiology Advocacy Alliance PAC is utilized to contribute to the election campaigns for Congressional members who have supported our positions over the past several years, to those who have important committee positions with influence on legislation and regulatory policies impacting our members, and to candidates competing against someone we may oppose. In addition to the PAC arm, CAA works with congressmen and women, committee offices and government organizations like CMS, MedPac, OMB, and CBO in a bipartisan way to further our goals of educating and steering policy for the betterment of cardiovascular care.

Currently, the CAA has several key initiatives including:  

In-Office Ancillary Exception (IOASE) – IOASE continues to be a threat to private practice. There is a pervasive belief by many that physician ownership leads to bad decision making by physicians and practices. Attempts to close the IOASE continue to be in the President’s Budget request. CBO has suggested that if the IOASE were closed, Medicare could save billions of dollars. All of this fosters concerns that Congress would enact legislation, probably as an offset, to pay for SGR action. All of this fosters concern that Congress could close the IOASE as an offset to pay for the SGR.

Interoperability – The key to Meaningful Use success is interoperability – the ability for electronic systems to “talk” to each other and ensure patient data is available to all providers.  Although interoperability is the key, many HIT systems and vendors are still unable to transfer healthcare data in a meaningful manner. Without the ability to transfer data in a secure, easily understood method, the improvement of care quality, safety and efficiency will not be fully realized. Moreover, the costs of designing, implementing, and ensuring interface accuracy among disparate systems continue to escalate.

Meaningful Use – The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology[1].  The CAA is advocating for modification of the meaningful use criteria to improve the clinical practicality and allow for the metrics to be patient centric with a focus on true clinical adoption vs. going through motions to avoid penalties.  CAA strongly advocates for quality treatment of patients and will continue to seek legislative assistance to encourage electronic health record vendors to move in this same direction.  In addition, CAA recently lobbied for a change in requirements for 2016 and continues to support legislation that eases the burden of MU.

[1] Accessed 9/25/2014  http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html 

Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) – In the SGR “patch” last year, Congress enacted the adoption of appropriate use criteria to be used at the time a test or other service is ordered. CAA supported the adoption of AUC as a way to lessen the need for enactment of legislation that would require the use of prior authorization or that would close the IOASE since adherence to AUC takes away arguments of overutilization due to financial interests.

MACRA  – MACRA creates a major shift in the value agenda for healthcare with its current proposed elements. CAA is actively working to improve the implementation of this new program by focusing on the high complexity of attribution of beneficiaries, difficulty in reporting on quality measures, and the administrative burden this program will create. 

While the CAA receives literally hundreds of campaign requests for the PAC, given limited funds, we work very hard to target the PAC contributions at those campaigns where we have worked closely on issues of concern, feel that the candidate can and does believe in the overall goals of the CAA membership, and that our members would be best served if the candidate came to/remained in Congress.

The PAC has positively contributed on a bipartisan basis as well as to candidates for both Houses of Congress. In the vast majority of situations, the races are tight. While the focus is on those races where the candidate serves on committees of jurisdiction, it has also helped with some races where the candidate has been targeted by other groups who do not mean cardiology well. 

2014 Contributions from the CAA PAC Fund

  • Hall for Congress Committee
  • Pete Sessions for Congress
  • Heart Doc PAC
  • New Democrat Coalition PAC
  • Udall for Us All
  • Jeff Miller for Congress
  • Burgess for Congress
  • Flores for Congress

 

Physicians, other than health care professionals, and administrative professionals of member organizations may contribute up to $1,000 per year to the CAA PAC. In order to comply with the FEC regulations, all contributors should complete the PAC Authorization Form and return them with their contribution or prior to their contributions.

Please consider contributing to the CAA PAC today! Click here to download the PAC Authorization Form.

 

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Physician Testimonials


“As an independent physician group, New Mexico Heart Institute needs to keep a close eye on critical developments in a fast changing regulatory landscape. CAA is one of our most critical tools to watch and influence the changes in Washington that affect us everyday. Every cardiology group would benefit from this kind of insight and assistance.”

Sean Mazer, MD, FHRS, FACC
New Mexico Heart Institute
Albuquerque, NM
 

 

"At a recent ACC meeting, the head of MedPac rewrote history. He claimed that physicians and hospitals (without the prompting of the practice closing 2010 fee schedule) conspired to join forces to take advantage of provider based billing. No mention was made of the fact that neither the hospitals nor physicians wanted integration. Instead a narrative of provider greed was discussed and held accountable for a 2.3 billion dollar expense to CMS. This is the narrative going to Congress to now cut provider billing as well as get rid of IOASE. It's our fault; CMS has no role. Without advocacy the real story is never discussed and providers are ping ponged from one poorly thought out policy to the next. CAA is a reasoned consistent voice that has the respect of the legislators. It is important to keep supporting CAA if you want to be heard instead if being hearded."

Matt Phillips, MD, FACC
Austin Heart
Austin, TX
 


“Over my 33 year career I have witnessed an unimaginable change in the practice of medicine. As cardiologists, we set the standards for the concepts behind evidence-based large scale clinical trials that ultimately lead to a revolution in care delivery. We have together succeeded in improving not only the quality of care, but also have been able to reduce admissions, procedures and most of all, mortality. We need to actively challenge each and every intrusion into our professionalism. The CAA (Cardiology Advocacy Alliance) has been our practice’s choice as the vehicle where we can learn, advocate, and educate. Advocacy starts locally and evolves globally. Learn how your elected officials view the issues we face – be part of the solution - be involved – JOIN CAA!

Mark Victor, MD
Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
 

 

"Without the ability to do in office testing on my referrals, it would cause the patient another trip to the testing facility and delay the diagnosis.  One is inconvenient and the other potentially dangerous".

S.W. Thomas, MD, FACC
Virginia Cardiovascular Specialists
Richmond, VA