SGO regularly works with local, state and federal government regarding public policy that affects our patients and profession. With the creation of Health Policy and Socioeconomic Committee in 2015 and the taskforces that comprise it, SGO now has a means to actively and aggressively advocate for the gynecologic oncology subspecialty and the patients who are served by SGO members.
SGO Policy Update: June 2, 2016
In response to “skyrocketing drug prices” in the United States, today the Society of Gynecologic Oncology proposed five specific recommendations to improve the availability of drugs for cancer patients at a reasonable and fair cost. The proposals are contained in the article, “Addressing the High Cost of Drugs for Oncology Patients: A National Priority,” written by members of the SGO Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Taskforce.
Future of Physician Payment Reform Taskforce
The primary responsibility of the Future of Physician Payment Reform Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Taskforce is to monitor the ongoing transition from a fee-for-service system to a value-based system and ensure gynecologic oncology can deliver high-quality and cost-effective care. The taskforce will consider forward-thinking practice models for physician payment, i.e., capitation, ACOs, Management Fee, and policies that would support SGO members and address multidisciplinary practice and management issues that impact the care of women with gynecologic malignancies.
This taskforce strives to fulfill the recommendations put forth in the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s White Paper: Creating a New Paradigm in Gynecologic Cancer Care: Policy Proposals for Delivery, Quality and Reimbursement, published in February 2013.
Coding and Reimbursement Taskforce
The Coding and Reimbursement Taskforce’s primary purpose is to represent the interest of gynecologic oncologists regarding regulatory, and other issues that impact coding, billing, and reimbursement. They will provide expertise to the Legislative and Regulatory Committee regarding reimbursement issues. The taskforce will manage proposals for new and revised current procedural (CPT) codes. The taskforce has primary responsibility for the creation of new CPT codes and modification of existing ones through its partnership with ACOG and its visibility within the American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Panel-sponsored national committees.
The taskforce will also review valuations for new or existing CPT codes through the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) and provide convincing and well supported comments to those federal agencies responsible for issuing and implementing regulations in question. The taskforce will be well versed in completing RUC surveys and will be charged with keeping membership/taskforce educated on this process as well. Finally, the taskforce will assist and make recommendations on content in the delivery of education to members on coding and payment issues.
Policy, Quality and Outcomes Taskforce
The Policy, Quality and Outcomes Taskforce’s primary responsibility is to monitor the opportunities for SGO members to participate in reporting programs and monitor incentive and penalty payment programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for Medicare. Other areas for the taskforce to monitor include development of measurement systems, addressing the intrinsic challenges of quality measurement and evaluation and provide input to the future design of effective quality reporting systems.
The taskforce will assume a leadership role in defining indicators of quality gynecologic oncology care, and foster the development of tools and expertise to advance the delivery of high quality gynecologic oncology care to women. Finally, the task force will represent the SGO at appropriate meetings regarding quality and quality measurement – Surgical Quality Alliance, National Registry Networks, National Quality Forum, etc.
Nine quality measures are currently under consideration for PQRS inclusion for 2017, which will be the first reporting year for the Merit Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Taskforce
The Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Taskforce’s primary responsibility is to monitor legislative and regulatory activity at the national level and communicate information to other appropriate taskforces within the Health Policy and Socio-economic committee. Additional responsibility includes ensuring that policies enacted and implemented by government are favorable to SGO members by monitoring and reviewing draft regulations and legislation and its applicability to gynecologic oncology practice. The taskforce will determine SGO’s involvement in issue-specific coalitions and support continuation of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense. The taskforce will continually maintain key relationships within the cancer community and legislative offices. SGO Members interested participating in these initiatives are encouraged to join the SGO Congressional Ambassadors Program.
The Congressional Ambassadors’ efforts helped us secure $20 million for the 2016 Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program. A preliminary list of funded programs is now available.
June 2, 2016
Read about SGO’s latest efforts to preserve funding for the Department of Defense’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program in Washington Alert.