The Society of Interventional Radiology's government relations and health policy staff members work to further the interests of society members by advocating on their behalf before Congress, regulatory and federal agencies and the White House.
SIR members play a vital role in this process. This section will guide you through our advocacy efforts, the major policy issues that affect the society and how you can get involved.
The decisions Congress makes and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implements, can have a profound effect on your practice and the health care you provide for your patients. SIR government affairs team advocates in Congress and the federal agencies to make sure that physician reimbursement for IR services are protected and enhanced. It is important for legislators and regulators to hear the voices of SIR members. SIR collaborates with members of Congress, CMS, and other medical and health care organizations to advocate for physician reimbursement issues. Among the robust collection of reimbursement issues SIR advocates on: the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, insurance carrier advocacy, evaluation and management (E/M) coding and implementation of RUC recommendations beneficial to IR. For more information on physician reimbursement, please visit the SIR’s policy and economics page.
The decisions made by Congress and the administration’s COVID-19 Taskforce directly influence the current and future practice of IRs nationwide. SIR is actively advocating in Congress and the federal agencies to address the needs and concerns of our members related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SIR government relations team is working to ensure IRs have access to PPE, workforce financial assistance, expanded telehealth with related payments and liability protections for those serving as frontline physicians. SIR has joined other medical specialty societies to communicate directly with CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress to advocate for financial and clinical support for IRs nationwide.
SIR signs onto CAP press statement about waiving E/M coding budget neutrality
SIR joined the College of American Pathologists and other medical specialty societies to release a press statement on August 4, 2020. The press statement urges Congress and CMS to collaborate on developing a solution that will allow the changes to the E/M services to proceed, while at the same time preventing cuts to our health care professionals due to budget neutrality.
SIR signs onto AMA letter to Congress about excluding surprise billing provision from the new COVID-19 relief package.
SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to Congress on July 29, 2020. The letter urges Congress to not include surprise medical billing provisions in the new COVID-19 relief legislation under discussion in Congress. The letter makes the point that legislation to address the current public health emergency is not the appropriate vehicle or time to address this issue when agreement in significant outstanding issues remains elusive.
SIR signs onto AMA letter to the State Department and Department of Homeland Security about H-1B visas
SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to the State Department and Department of Homeland Security on July 8, 2020. The letter urges the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to clarify that all health care professionals—not only those who are involved in COVID-19 research and practice—are critical to our national interest, and therefore exempt from the proclamation.
Voices for IR is SIR's new grassroots advocacy program designed to amplify our communications on issues affecting interventional radiologists nationwide. Voices for IR allows member volunteers to serve as an extension of SIR's advocacy team to help achieve our legislative and regulatory goals.