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Urology's Advocate on Capitol Hill

Physician Advocacy Update July 2018
Building on the momentum from UROPAC trips to Washington DC over the past few months, AACU representatives once again headed to the Hill last week to meet with key lawmakers and discuss several priorities for urologists, including administrative burden, USPSTF reform, physician shortage especially for specialty care, and access to affordable treatment.  

Over three days, AACU members and staff attended events and meetings with 10 candidates, including family physician Rep. Ralph Abraham, MD (R-LA-5), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-6), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-1), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA-9), Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH-2), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-6), and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-8).

Below are highlights from the productive and successful trip.
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AACU President-Elect Mark Edney, MD with Rep. Buddy Carter 
AACU Continues to Urge Support for USPSTF Reform
Chief among the issues discussed throughout the trip was USPSTF reform, as it remains a top priority for the AACU even in light of the recently revised USPSTF recommendation for prostate cancer screening.  

During a campaign event for Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA-1), Dr. Mark Edney, AACU President-Elect, explained the negative effects the 2012 USPSTF recommended "D" rating for prostate cancer screening has had on prostate cancer treatment, noting that there has been a troubling uptick in metastatic cases over the past several years.  Rep. Carter was quite troubled by the problems with USPSTF Dr. Edney pointed out and indicated his office would take a much closer look at H.R. 539.  

The AACU wishes to thank Rep. Carter for his interest in this important issue and looks forward to working with his office and others on the Hill as we continue to push for USPSTF reform.

AACU Voices Urologists' Concern Over EHR Burden, Physician Shortage 
During his time on the Hill last week, current AACU President Dr. Patrick McKenna highlighted in his discussions with legislators the impact of administrative burden, particularly with respect to electronic health records (EHRs), on practicing urologists by pointing out its link to provider burnout and specialty physician shortages. 

Dr. McKenna referenced the recently released AUA Annual Census for 2017, in which urologists across the nation cited adopting EHRs and fulfilling CMS mandates as the top factors that cause job dissatisfaction as more and more retire from the field altogether. With urology already having the second oldest workforce, the specialty simply cannot afford to lose physicians due to administrative burdens. Legislators and staff on the Hill seemed to find the link between administrative burden and physician shortages a compelling talking point. 

The AACU will continue to engage with these and other offices on ways to reduce regulatory burden and specialty shortages. 

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