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Urology's Advocate on Capitol Hill

UROPAC Meets with Key Lawmakers

Right on the heels of the successful AACU Annual Meeting in Washington DC, AACU representatives headed to the Hill for another series of meetings with key lawmakers.  Over three days, these representatives were able to highlight key policy priorities of the AACU, including Medicare red tape, administrative burden, the urologic workforce shortage, and sequestration, among other things.  

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Sen. Dean Heller (right) with Dr. Patrick McKenna

During this round, AACU members and staff attended events and meetings with 11 candidates and their staff, including Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC-6), Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MA-5), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-4), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA-6), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-6), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), fellow urologist Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2), and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6).

AACU Continues to Stress Importance of Urologic Workforce Shortage Problem

In their various meetings, Dr. Patrick McKenna, Dr. Bill Reha, and Dr.  Jeffrey Frankel emphasized the importance of increasing residency slots for urology, noting that using nurse practitioners only goes so far in alleviating the shortage as NPs can only provide certain urologic services.

In discussing the shortage issue, AACU representatives urged support for the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (HR 2267/S 1301), a bill that would increase the total number of Medicare-funded residency training positions nationwide by 15,000, half of which must be used to train residents in shortage specialties such as urology. The AACU strongly supports this bill and looks forward to working with these offices and others on the Hill as we continue to push for policies to address the urology shortage.

AACU Discusses Impact of Medicare Red Tape, Administrative Burden

AACU representatives also highlighted in their discussions the problems within the Medicare program and the impact of administrative burden, providing legislators with concrete examples found within the urologic practice. One such example given was the handling of Lupron under USP 800, which requires the drug to be prepared under a special hood that urologists must install in their practices even though doing so is entirely unnecessary given the nature of this drug's packaging and preparation. Many legislators expressed concern over the burden caused by requirements like those under USP 800 and indicated their willingness to work with the AACU on this issue moving forward.

If you're interested in joining UROPAC staff on a trip to DC, or in attending an in-district event, please contact Chelsea Jerominski.

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