American College of Rheumatology Raises Varied Healthcare Provider Concerns in Bevy of Comment Letters to Policymakers
July 31, 2023 | Advocacy
Group has sent 26 letters this year to policymakers concerning workforce, drug pricing, and reimbursement cuts, among others
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) said it has already joined with hundreds of organizations to submit 26 health policy comment letters to federal officials this year—surpassing the 24 letters the College submitted in 2022.
Letters this year have covered a wide range of issues important to rheumatology healthcare providers, including support for policies that would:
- Expand the physician workforce by adding training positions to meet demand (Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023) and by mitigating the cost of medical education (Resident Education Deferred Interest or ”REDI” Act)
- Ensure that employer health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) provide an expedient and medically reasonable step therapy exceptions process (Safe Step Act)
- Require health plans to count the value of copay assistance toward patient cost-sharing requirements (Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act)
- Apply a permanent inflation-based update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor (Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act)
- Address the high prices of drugs covered under Medicare Part B
- Adequately fund biomedical research to address the leading cause of disability in the American patient population through the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program
- Advance interoperability and improve prior authorization processes
In its latest letter ACR joined with 20 physician organizations to urge Congress to address physician workforce shortage issues.
“ACR is pleased to join other physician groups and stakeholders to advocate for common sense solutions to address the most pressing issues facing healthcare providers and patients today,” said Douglas White, MD, PhD, president of the ACR. “We urge policymakers to address the issues these letters have raised and consider solutions we’ve proposed to improve the delivery of high-quality healthcare for all Americans.”
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.