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Campaign for Patient Access

On October 30, 2009, CMS issued a devastating blow to patient access with the publication of the final 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. This rule significantly reduced payments for cardiovascular-related services. While ACC member efforts bought a little time for cardiology through a four-year phase in of some of the cuts, the cuts overall are having a huge impact on the viability of cardiovascular practices across the country. Read the ACC's overview of the rule.  Learn more the ACC's legislative and legal efforts to mitigate the impact of the 2010 Rule.

Legislative Actions:

The ACC is working to mitigate the impacts of this bad government policy by building on the goodwill and support created by ACC member efforts to date, while minimizing opposition. Working with the ACC, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) has introduced legislation (H.R. 4371) that would hold cardiology at current 2009 practice expense values, while allowing other specialty practices to operate at 2010 physician practice information survey (PPIS) values. As of May 1, approximately 120 House members are co-sponsoring the bill and headway is being made in the Senate.

Legal Actions:

After exhausting all immediate regulatory and legislative options – and with no final action by Congress or CMS to stop the cuts prior to the Jan. 1, 2010 deadline – the College on Dec. 28, 2009 filed a complaint, as well as motions for a preliminary injunction and expedited discovery, against Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in U.S. District Court in Florida. In early January, ACC's motions were denied on jurisdictional grounds, with a judge finding that statutory language governing the Medicare program precludes judicial review of the relative value units and the methods for determining the RVUs in the Medicare fee schedule. Read related documents (PDFs) below:
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