American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2015 Legislative Priorities (SEPT 2015)

Fix the Medicare Physician Payment System

  • Repeal SGR and replace it with a sustainable reimbursement system that supports women’s access to ob-gyns across the range of practice types.
  • Repeal Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
  • Protect ob-gyn ultrasound from any reimbursement or coverage cuts.
  • Oppose the transition of 10– and 90–day global period surgery codes to 0-day global period codes.

Increase Research into Effects of Disease Treatments on Pregnant and Lactating Women

  • Support 21st Century Cures Initiative.
  • Promote pregnant and breastfeeding women’s inclusion in clinical trials. 

Support Appropriate Efforts to Reduce Maternal Opioid Dependence

  • Promote public health efforts to reduce maternal opioid dependence and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
  • Oppose punitive legislation against women with opioid dependence and babies born with NAS.

Protect the Public Health Safety Net for Low-Income Women and Adolescents

  • Oppose cuts to discretionary programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women and Children (WIC); CDC Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program; programs to combat sudden infant death syndrome, STDs; and programs to improve preconception care, family planning and breastfeeding.
  • Oppose cuts to Medicaid and proposals that shift costs to states, patients, or health care providers.
  • Support an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Support Our Physician Workforce

  • Support graduate medical education by exploring additional funding mechanisms and innovative approaches to medical education.
  • Oppose cuts in Federal and State GME funding.
  • Oppose funding GME through the appropriations process.
  • Make medical student loan repayment more affordable.

Protect the Physician-Patient Relationship

  • Oppose state and federal interference in the patient-physician relationship.

Prevent Unintended Pregnancies and Reduce the Need for Abortions

  • Support access to reproductive health services.
  • Promote access to contraception, including emergency contraception.
  • Advocate the use of medically accurate information. Enact Meaningful Medical Liability Reform
  • ACOG supports caps on non-economic damages.
  • We support meaningful alternative reforms, including safe harbors and expanded application of the Federal Tort Claims Act to on-call ob-gyns.

Ensure Continued Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation Meets the Needs of Ob-Gyns and Our Patients

We support proper and continued implementation of:

  • Maternity coverage for all women in all plans.
  • Coverage and cost-sharing protections for women’s preventive health services under all plans.
  • Health insurance market reforms, including direct access to ob-gyn care.
  • Medicaid expansion to cover individuals up to 138% of the federal poverty line
  • Continued testing of a woman’s medical home, including for pregnancy care.
  • The Medicaid state option to expand coverage of family planning services for low-income women

We support modifications to:

  • Continue Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Initiatives, including:
  • Extend the Medicaid and Medicare primary care payment bump to ob-gyns.
  • Make the EHR Incentive Program easier for small group providers to participate.
  • Reduce the reporting burden for physician practices to comply with e-prescribing, PQRS and EHR incentive program.

We support repeal of:

  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
  • The budget neutral value-based payment modifier which reallocates Medicare payment among physicians.

Federal recognition of and reimbursement to untrained midwives delivering babies in unsafe settings.

Making Obstetrics and Maternity Safer (MOMS)

  • Support Federal Funding for:
    • Biomedical research at NIH to address prematurity, obesity, maternal morbidity, and health disparities.
    • Data collection and surveillance programs, including vital statistics systems, maternal mortality reviews, and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).
    • Maternal health programs, including the Title V Maternal/Child Health Block Grant, Fetal Infant Mortality Review, and Title X Family Planning.
  • Support MOMS Legislation, including:
    • Maternal Health Accountability Act
    • Birth Defects Prevention, Risk Reduction, and Awareness Act
  • Gestational Diabetes Act
  • Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act
  • Support for ob-gyn performance measures developed by and in consultation with ACOG and dissemination through Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Participating in Strong Start and other HHS programs to reduce elective induction pre-39 weeks, promote the use of evidence-based practice guidelines, and identify innovative and best practices in care coordination.
  • Support Appropriate Training And Adequate Numbers Of Maternity Care Providers
    • Work to gain designation of maternity care shortage areas for use by the National Health Service Corps.
    • Support loan repayment programs for ob-gyns, certified nurse midwives and certified midwives working in provider shortage areas.
    • Ensure that the educational and professional standards of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) and the International Confederation of Midwives are used to evaluate and certify all midwives. (EMPHASIS BY ADMIN)

Support Healthy Pregnancies for Working Women

  • Ensure that pregnant workers are not forced out of their jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working and have healthier pregnancies.

Protect Vulnerable Populations from Toxic Chemical Exposure

  • Support meaningful chemical safety legislation that protects the health of vulnerable populations including pregnant women, infants, and children.