July 2023 Fly-In Recap

In July, the Political Affairs Committee and members of LUGPA returned to Washington, DC, to promote the 2023 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda. The fly-in focused on five key issues:

  1. Physician Payment and MACRA Reform
  2. Legislative Efforts Directed at Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)
  3. Expanding Regulations to Allow for In-Office Dispensing
  4. Making Pandemic-Related Telehealth Waivers Permanent
  5. Supporting Reforms to Improve the 340B Program.
      LUGPA Lunch with Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).
      LUGPA Members Meet with Fellow Urologist
Representative Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC).

LUGPA’s efforts come at an essential time of the year for independent healthcare providers. In July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the proposed rule for the physician fee schedule. A 3.3 percent cut is expected on January 1, absent any legislative change. LUGPA members voiced their concerns to members at these meetings, and every member we visited, along with their staff, shared our concerns regarding these cuts. LUPGA will continue to follow the proposed rule and voice our serious concerns about these unfair cuts in our September and October fly-ins.

During these meetings, other important issues were raised, including concerns about the shrinking healthcare workforce, increased vertical consolidation within the healthcare industry, expanding healthcare access to rural areas, needed reforms for reimbursement by CMS, rising healthcare and prescription drug costs, and the necessity of permanently strengthening telehealth post-pandemic.

Several members of Congress expressed support for implementing additional site neutrality measures into Medicare to create a more level playing field between independent providers and those working for hospitals. LUGPA will continue promoting these needed reforms throughout the 2023 Congressional session.

In July, LUGPA members met with the following Members of Congress:

  • Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) | Member of Committee on Financial Services
  • Representative David Kustoff (R-TN) | Member of House Ways and Means Committee
  • Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) | Member of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Chairman of Special Committee on Aging and Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) | A pharmacist, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Member
  • Representative John Joyce (R-PA) | House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Member
  • Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL) | A urologist and former LUGPA member; House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Member, Doctors Caucus
  • Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) | An ophthalmologist, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Member, Doctors Caucus
  • Representative Greg Murphy (R-NC) | A practicing urologist and member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Doctors Caucus
   LUGPA has put together a short video featuring
attendees of the July event that you can view here.

In addition to these lawmakers, fly-in participants met with health aides and staff members of the House Ways and Means, Financial Services, Energy and Commerce Committees, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The next fly-in is scheduled for September 19-20.

LUGPA encourages its members to attend these fly-ins to keep Members of Congress and their staff informed about the challenges faced in their practices. Those interested in attending a fly-in with LUGPA in Washington, DC, or seeking more information can contact Matthew Glans at [email protected].

With the utmost gratitude, the LUGPA Political Affairs committee wants to thank the physicians and administrators of the following groups whose efforts made the July fly-in possible:

  • Premier Medical Group of the Hudson Valley
  • The Urology Group
  • MidLantic Urology LLC
  • Urological Associates of Western Colorado
  • Urology Virginia
  • Southeast Urology Network
  • Urological Surgeons of Northern California
  • Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma
  • Comprehensive Urology
  • Integrated Medical Professionals
  • Associated Urological Specialists
  • Minnesota Urology
      LUGPA Fly-In Attendees Jason Bandermann and
Chris Hettinger, MD, with Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO).
      LUGPA Attendees Nathan Diller, Christopher Cantrill, MD,
Josh Langston, MD, and Guy Manetti, MD,
during Fly-In Hill Meetings.

LUGPA physicians and senior administrators who have attended in the past say that they find the experience worthwhile and essential to their understanding of the political process.

First-time attendee Dr. Chris Hettinger, a urologist with Kansas City Urology Care, found he learned a great deal about how healthcare policies emerge during his meetings at the July fly-in:

“The reason I came was to see how all of the legislation that affects us came to be and how it is changed, and it’s amazing to me how easy it is to reach out and meet the people who are making these decisions that affect our livelihood, and it’s a very tangible effect that you can have by coming here and meeting with people and educating them on the things that affect our daily lives so it’s certainly been an invaluable experience for me.”

Dr. Guy Manetti, another first-time attendee, also encouraged other LUGPA members to attend the fly-ins:

“I encourage anyone to do it. You’ll learn a lot about how the system works and how important it is to be involved from an advocacy perspective as we educate our lawmakers on important topics that impact every one of us and our patients.”

Dr. John Adams of the Conrad Pearson Clinic in Germantown, Tennessee, is a veteran of LUGPA’s fly-ins, having attended several since 2017. Dr. Adams also encouraged members to attend these important events, noting that these events help contribute to keeping our organization and practices thriving:

“I realized when I first started doing this that it was my turn to give back and my responsibility to help all of our doctors have an impact in Washington and be able to bring to this city and to our Congressmen and Senators the things with which we need help to help our specialty thrive, help our businesses thrive, and the only way to do this is with involvement. It takes our time and our effort. Our organization is wonderful at providing the venue through which we can have direct conversations with not only the Senators or the Congressmen but their staff as well. This is an opportunity everyone needs to take advantage of and help our organization be there and help.”