NDMA Leadership Attends National Advocacy Conference; Meets with ND Congressional Delegation
Posted 2/20/20 (Thu)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma addresses attendees during the conference.
NDMA leadership meets with Congressman Kelly Armstrong (above) and Senator John Hoeven (below).
NDMA President Misty Anderson, DO, Vice President Josh Ranum, MD and NDMA Executive Director Courtney Koebele attended the National Advocacy Conference last week in Washington DC. This provided NDMA leadership the opportunity to meet face-to-face with North Dakota's congressional delegates to discuss high-priority federal policy issues that impact North Dakota's health care.
Issues discussed included Surprise Billing, Conrad 30 waiver program reauthorization (Sen Cramer co-sponsor), reducing prior authorization burdens (Rep Armstrong co-sponsor), medical marijuana research (Sen Cramer co-sponsor) and telemedicine legislation (Sen Cramer co-sponsor).
Telemedicine legislation in particular has piqued the interest of congressional leaders as technology advances and more providers and patients rely on these services. The legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Cramer, has the potential to expand telemedicine services across North Dakota by waiving the Medicare payment restrictions.
During the advocacy conference, participants were addressed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma. Her presentation included remarks about health priorities in the president's new budget, which included expanding access to care and innovative treatments and fixing Medicare's wage index to help save rural hospitals. She also spoke about the burden of prior authorization (PA) being a primary driver of physician burnout saying, "the practice of prior authorization became indefensible years ago."
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) echoed a similar sentiment on the burden of prior authorization saying, "PA forms are deliberately burdensome—and should not be used as a tool to delay care." She is cosponsor of bipartisan legislation, H.R. 3107, the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act of 2019, which would reduce unnecessary delays in care by streamlining and standardizing prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program. Representative Armstrong is also a co-sponsor of this proposed legislation.
To learn more contact NDMA executive director Courtney Koebele at firstname.lastname@example.org.