ASNC Continues to Push Against AUC Mandate
On Sept. 25, ASNC CEO Kathleen Flood and Director of Policy Andy McKinley discussed the appropriate use criteria (AUC) mandate with the office of Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). ASNC and its coalition partners.—including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Medical Group Management Association—continued to stress that AUC consultation would be better aligned with the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) than as a stand-alone program. ASNC reaffirmed its commitment to AUC as a means of ensuring patients receive the right test first; however, ASNC opposes a cumbersome program that is inferior to MIPS, lacks a quality measurement component, and does not have a clear and overwhelming benefit to Medicare.
Sen. Cassidy's staff were receptive to these concerns and noted the senator's broad support for lessening administrative burdens on medical professionals. Sen. Cassidy strongly prefers programs that enhance physician performance and patient satisfaction rather than detract from clinical interactions. When discussing possible legislative fixes for the AUC mandate, ASNC and its coalition partners noted that the House Ways and Means Committee intended to consolidate quality improvement programs in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Aligning the AUC mandate with MIPS would further this intent.
ASNC intends to maintain a dialogue with Sen. Cassidy and meet with additional members of Congress in the near future.