News & Press: Advocacy

Legislative Hot Spots for SIS Member Attention

Thursday, September 12, 2019  

SIS regularly monitors health care policy issues of interest to the membership and, from time-to-time, will report on specific legislation ‘hot spots’ of particular interest to you.

What do SIS members need to know?

During the August Congressional recess, physician advocates worked on health care issues including surprise billing and improvements to the MACRA program.

Surprise billing legislation:

  • Both the House and Senate have passed legislation out of committee to tackle the issue of surprise billing, which is the practice of billing patients for services provided by out-of-network providers.
  • However, physician advocates promote additional strengthening to require insurers to give patients a robust choice of physicians and preserve patient access to hospital-based care.
  • In addition, advocates call for any surprise billing legislation to establish benchmark rates to stakeholders in the private market, reflecting actual local charges.


  • Since the enactment of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, physician organizations have worked closely with both Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote a smooth implementation of key components of the law.
  • While the law provided for modest payment increases during the first five years, payment rates still have not kept up with inflation. And, the statute calls for zero percent payment update for years 2020-2025.
  • Physician advocates call for the following:
    • Implementation of positive payment adjustments for physicians to replace the payment freeze over the next six years;
    • Extension of the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APM) bonus payments for an additional six years, and;
    • Implementation of additional technical improvements to MACRA

SIS is committed to promoting accurate and appropriate reimbursement for interventional spine procedures. To see prior letters of support letters, click here.

Add your voice and contact your Congressional representatives through the Physicians Grassroots Network.

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