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American College of Cardiology Legal Suit – Judge Determines Federal Courts Can’t Review Medicare Physician Reimburs

Posted Jan 13 2010 9:46am

I posted about the court suit filing back during the holidays at the link below.  Now it appears that the legal suit cannot be heard in court.  This is definitely a set imageback for the ACC, but they are determined to keep fighting against the proposed reimbursement cuts for cardiologists. 

I also had one of my clients, a cardiologist write to his Congressman and as of today, I don’t believe he received a response.

Cardiologist Writes to His Congressman Regarding Medicare Cuts – The Impact

If the proposed cuts take place, you will find many cardiologist closing up offices and working for the hospitals as the expense of keeping up with technology in cardiology will become prohibitive for the independent office to attain.  If you read here on this blog, you can see a ton of technology being introduced and approved by the FDA, especially in the area of remote monitoring for cardiac care, something else that cardiologists are now starting to be held accountable for. 

The software and device companies all assure you that your doctor will be on top of your every day transmissions and look for problems, but they need to see patients as well.  Some services use a 3rd party to assist in this effort, but still it comes down to the patient/doctor relationship and their decision to make the right call.  BD 

As our attorneys, ACC's witnesses, staff, and I were about to board our flights to Florida for the scheduled hearing on our preliminary injunction and expedited discovery motions related to the Medicare 2010 Payment Rule, Judge William Dimitrouleas of the US District Court Southern District of Florida denied our motions. Basically, he refused to hear our case.

We are deeply disappointed in the judge’s decision not to hear our case based on his opinion that the federal courts do not  have jurisdiction to review Medicare physician payment determinations.  Nevertheless, we continue to believe in the well-documented merits of our case.  The ACC will continue advocating for real payment solutions based on quality outcomes and patient care.

Today’s decision is counted as a loss; however, we stand behind our position that the system erred. The practice expense data used to determine this rule was inaccurate and incomplete.  Reliance on this data will negatively impact patients' access to care.

We have introduced legislation and we remain hopeful that Congress will get the message that these cuts represent bad public policy.

The Lewin Report | Bad News from the Legal Front

Related Reading:

Is Your Cardiologist Now Going to be Your Hospitalist? Many Will Close Offices If Reductions Are Made
CMS plans cuts to Medicare Cardiology Provider Fees Close to 40%

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