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Advocacy and outreach

Advocacy

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. 

Priority issues

Physician reimbursement

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.


COVID-19 advocacy

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.

Latest actions

SIR signs onto AMA letter to HHS about waiving E/M coding budget neutrality

SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to HHS on July 1, 2020 The letter urges HHS to utilize its authority under the public health emergency declaration to preserve patient access to care and mitigate financial distress due to the pandemic by implementing the office visit increases as planned while waiving budget neutrality requirements for the new Medicare office visit payment policy.

SIR signs onto AMA letter to the VA about scope of practice

SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on June 24, 2020. The letter urges the VA to amend Directive 1899 as it relates to allowing non-physicians to operate “within the full scope of their license, registration, or certification” and practice without physician oversight during the national health emergency.

SIR joins ACR to send Congress a letter about the finalized E/M coding proposal

SIR joined the American College of Radiology (ACR) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to Congress on June 18, 2020. The letter urges Congress to waive the budget neutrality requirements stipulated in the E/M code provision of the Fiscal Year 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule. The final rule has an implementation date on Jan. 1, 2021.

SIR signs onto a letter to CMS about scope of practice

SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to CMS on June 11, 2020. The letter strongly opposes the proposal to expand the scope of services NPPs furnish in IRFs, and urges CMS to uphold the role of the rehabilitation physician in delivering and overseeing care for patients in IRF settings. 

SIR signs onto a letter to Congress about targeted and limited liability protections 

SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to Congress on June 9, 2020. The letter urges Congress to include the targeted and limited liability protections that are in the bipartisan bill, H.R. 7059, the “Coronavirus Provider Protection Act.”

SIR supports the AdvaMed, AHA and AORN guidance about re-entry of medical device representatives

SIR joined AdvaMed, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) and other medical specialty societies to support a guided statement on June 9, 2020. The guided statement concerns the safe re-entry of medical device representatives into the surgical setting. 

SIR signs onto a letter to Congress  about "phase four" COVID-19 relief bill package

SIR joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical specialty societies to send a letter to Congress on April 15, 2020. The letter strongly urges Congress to take additional steps to protect patient access to care by preserving the viability of physicsan practices as part of the nation’s essential health care system in any “phase four” coronavirus relief bill package.

Upcoming events:

Advocating in the District Webinar

When:  Jul 23, 2020 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM (ET)

Register

Add your voice to IR's cause

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.

Learn More

Judi Buckalew
Director, Government and Policy Affairs

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Jeremy Haines
Manager, Health Policy, PAC and Grassroots Advocacy 

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