ACR and RBMA Update on Congressional Activities and Medicare Payment Policies
On December 16, 2008, the RBMA hosted a Webinar to update members on ACR congressional activities and Medicare's payment policies for 2009. The first of the three presenters was Joshua Cooper, senior director of government relations for the ACR. According to Cooper, the ACR was able to achieve all of its legislative goals with the passage and enactment of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) on July 15, 2008. It should be noted that the legislation passed after both the House and Senate voted to override a presidential veto. The ACR may wield significantly more clout with this Congress due, in part, to its sizable campaign contributions. The ACR was the third-highest health professional political action committee contributor to federal candidates, and almost 90% of the candidates that it supported won their elections. The goals for 2008 were:
- avoiding a 10.6% Medicare conversion-factor (sustainable growth rate) cut for physicians;
- implementing mandatory imaging accreditation standards for advanced modalities (MRI, CT, PET, and nuclear medicine);
- funding the Appropriateness Criteria Demonstration Project; and
- avoiding additional technical-component reductions to pay for the delay in physician-payment cuts.