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September 2008
Vol. 18, No. 9
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA Advocacy Update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 10 announced the postponement of the 2009 Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) for Part B drugs and biologicals. As a result, participating CAP physicians will not be able to obtain Part B drugs from an approved CAP vendor after December 31. CMS will provide additional guidance for participating CAP physicians to transition out of the program later this fall on the CMS CAP physicians' page.  For more information on CAP please visit the IDSA website.

IDSA, HIVMA Respond to Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

CMS has released the Medicare Part B Physican Fee Schedule proposed rule for 2009.  IDSA and HIVMA urged the administration and Congress to enact long-term reform of the physician payment system—specifically by building a physician payment formula that accounts for annual practice cost increases and does not include the cost of non-physician services such as Part B drugs and biologicals. IDSA and HIVMA also supported Medicare’s efforts to promote gainsharing between physicians and hospitals of monies saved from quality improvement initiatives, expressed concern over efforts to expand nonpayment for hospital-acquired conditions to other settings, and suggested several future enhancements to the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative.

Other advocacy efforts include:

  • Public Health Surveillance: IDSA endorsed the “National Integrated Public Health Surveillance Systems and Reportable Conditions Act,” which would increase and assure funding for epidemiological and laboratory capacity in state and local health departments, establish standards for electronic disease reporting, and strengthen the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s capacity to detect antimicrobial resistant infections and other emerging infectious disease threats.
  • Emergency Response: IDSA and other groups endorsed the Public Health Emergency Response Act to provide medical coverage to uninsured persons and reimburse health care providers for services rendered during a public health emergency.
  • Public Confidence in Immunization: IDSA joined the American Academy of Pediatrics and other members of the Immunization Alliance in issuing a national Call to Action to raise the public’s confidence in vaccines. The Alliance calls on policymakers, public health agencies, physicians, and the public to work together to preserve the health of the nation’s children through immunization.

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