Activity Update April 2015

FEDERAL

  • SGR Update

    • Worked with ASPS Marketing/Communications staff to create an official statement on ASPS’s position in response to passage of SGR repeal.  This was sent to the membership on April 15.
    • Information about the SGR appeared in FOCUS on April 18 and in Advocacy Matters on April 20.
    • Spoke with reporter Melissa Attias of CQ regarding ASPS’s investments in the SGR repeal.
      • §  Conversation focused on the amount of time and advocacy resources dedicated to lobbying on SGR in the month leading up to the repeal.
      • §  Discussed ASPS’s unique position of opposition and our interest in becoming involved in the regulatory process.
      • §  Spoke about ASPS’s other legislative priorities, including the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act.
  • Breast Cancer Patient Education Act

    • Creating a grassroots campaign to support Senator Blunt’s introduction of the bill next week.
      • §  ASPS is slated to release an “Advocacy in Action” alert to the entire membership on May 6, which will encourage the membership to contact their Senators and request that they become a cosponsor of the legislation.
        • · A template letter will be available to the membership through our grassroots website.
      • o   HHS has met with several members of Congress in an attempt to secure a lead Democratic sponsor of the bill.
        • §  Dr. Flagg assisted advocacy efforts in an attempt to secure Rep. Kelly as a sponsor.  Unfortunately Rep. Kelly is unable to sign onto the bill as a sponsor.
  • 21st Century Cures

    • o   Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Upton (R-MI) and Rep. DeGette (D-CO) released a new discussion draft on the bill.
      • §  Most notably, the AIM Act – which ASPS strongly supports – has been removed from the 21st Century Cures draft, and the adipose tissue language, recommended by ASPS last year, was not added.
      • §  Staff is working in conjunction with Hart Health Strategies on analyzing the new discussion draft.
  • Sent comment letters of support to:

    • Rep. Nunes: sponsor of the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015 (H.R.1453)
    • Rep. Castor: sponsor of the Creating Access to Residency Education Act of 2015 (H.R.1117)
    • Sen. Cornyn: sponsor of the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015 (S.141)
    • Rep. Ruiz: sponsor of the Building a Health Care Workforce for the Future Act (H.R.1006)
    • Rep. Buchson: sponsor of the Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2015 (H.R.1741)
    • Rep. Price: sponsor of the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act (H.R.1650)
  • Signed onto letters by our coalition partners:

    • Registry Coalition: in support of proposed legislation that will amend the ways in which the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF) death data can be shared.
    • Alliance of Specialty Medicine: the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015 (S.1148)
    • Association of American Medical Colleges – GME Coalition: the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015 (S.1148)
  • Regional Fly-Inso

    • There are 18 members currently registered for the Midwest/ Southeast Regional Fly-In on June 2-3, 2015.§  Staff is working with Hart Health Strategies to confirm a guest speaker for the event.
    • The Northeast/ West Regional Fly-In is confirmed for November 4-5.§  Working with ASPS Meetings staff on confirming hotel accommodations.§  A save-the-date for this event will be sent out in July, with print invitations to follow.
  • Began outlining new improvements to the “Legislation & Advocacy” page of PlasticSurgery.org.

    o   Updates to this portion of the website will be a top priority for the Government Affairs team this spring.

  • Began the budget process for FY2016.

STATE

  • Was Alerted to a potential Cosmetic Surgery Tax in Maine.
    • Spoke to staff at the AMA  to see if they were aware
    • Received testimony from the Maine Medical Association in regards to the measure.
    • Alerted Dermatological groups and Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery to the measure. Planning to reach out to more specialties soon.
    • Preparing letter and developing potential grassroots opposition strategy
    • Stateside Associates reported that there is no official timeframe for the measure to move out of committee.

      §  Statutorily, the Legislature adjourns June 17.
      §  Legislative leadership has indicated that their goal is to have all bills reported out of committee by May 22, including this budget.
      §  The budget must be signed into law by July 1, the beginning of Maine FY 2016

  • Continuing to fight efforts by esthetician groups to increase their scope of practice.
    • In Oregon, ASPS recently signed onto a coalition letter  seeking to add substantive amendments to the bill that would protect patient safety

      §  If the proffered amendments do not get added, we will seek to kill the bill in the state’s Senate
      §  Will mobilize grassroots efforts and seek to provide to in-person testimony if the bill advances to the next chamber

    • In North Dakota, ASPS assisted in the removal of language that would have grossly increased esthetician scope of practice.
  • Working with the American College of Surgeons, Connecticut Society of Plastic Surgeons and Connecticut State Medical Society on a piece of legislation that would charge a taskforce with statutorily defining “surgery.”
    • Currently, as the bill is written, this taskforce would consist of a majority of non-physicians.
    • It is expected that this bill will go to the state’s Scope of Practice review committee

      §  This outcome is preferable to surgery being defined by non-physicians.

  • Discussed a truth-in-advertising bill with the Medical Society of the State of New York.
    • It is expected that the current language will be amended to remove “Name Your Board” provisions due to conservatives having a problem with not allowing the American Board of Physician Specialties.
  • Discussed a bill that would provide an alternative to CME in New York with the Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons, AMA, Dermatological groups, and Emergency Physicians.
    • The bill would allow those who undergo recertification by an ABMS or AOA board to be exempt from CME requirements

      §  Currently, the bill would also exempt those certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties as well.

    • We are working on a letter that would ask the legislature to amend the language to not include substandard boards

PLASTYPAC

  • PlastyPAC kicked off 2015 with a highly successful winter mail campaign, bringing in $47,762.17 in March alone.
    • This was PlastyPAC’s strongest first quarter since 2012.
    • Contributors were thanked and acknowledged in the April issue of Advocacy Matters.
      • §  We will begin to incorporate a quarterly report on PlastyPAC within the April, July, October and January issues of Advocacy Matters.
  • Political contributions from March – July 2015 were approved during the Winter Board Meeting:
    • Sen. Roy Blunt – $2,500 (primary)
    • $2,500 (general)
    • Sen. Richard Burr – $2,500
    • Sen. Jerry Moran – $2,500
    • Sen. Sherrod Brown – $2,500
    • Rep. Michael Burgess – $5,000
    • Rep. Tom Cole – $2,500
    • Rep. Leonard Lance – $2,000
    • Rep. Tom Price – $5,000
    • Rep. Fred Upton – $2,000
    • Rep. Gene Green – $2,000
  • The Spring 2015 solicitation was mailed on April 16.
    • Four different letters were created.  The version each member received was determined by their past PAC participation and geographic location.
    • Phone solicitations to individuals who contributed to the PAC in 2013 and 2014 were completed in April.
      • §  Phone solicitations to all lapsed contributors will begin in May.
  • Staff is working with leadership from the Young Plastic Surgeons on creating a targeted solicitation to members of the committee focused on greater participation in the PAC through small monthly contributions.
  • PlastyPAC Board of Governors and LAC Leadership participated in a “Thank You!” campaign, during which they contacted individuals who have made significant contributions to the PAC.
  • Working with our PlastyPAC website vendor on structural and aesthetic improvements that to the site.
    • Updates are slated to be finished by June 1.
  • The PlastyPAC Board of Governors will hold a strategic planning session this May to discuss opportunities for growth and improvement.
  • 2014 PAC contributors will be acknowledged and thanked in the June issue of PSN.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions related to these items or any other items that the Government Affairs staff is monitoring.

Thanks, Jake

Jake Johnson
Government Affairs Associate
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
(O) 847-228-3326