Washington Update - 2016 Initiatives
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Update - NDAA Clears Senate - December 8, 2016
The U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 92 to 7. The bill, which contains a provision waiving urgent care pre-authorization requirements for TRICARE beneficiaries, now makes its way to the President for his signature. 

Congress Poised to Vote on Bill to Increase Access to Urgent Care for Service Members - November 18, 2016
Contact your members of Congress in support of legislative language found within the Senate- and House-passed Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would ease access to urgent care center services for military families who receive health coverage through TRICARE.

Contact Congress: Ask Lawmakers to Support Access to Urgent Care Centers for Military Families - November 2, 2016
UCAOA is encouraging its members to contact their members of Congress to ask support for legislative language in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would ease access to urgent care center services for military families. 

UCAOA Asks CMS to Align Primary Care and Urgent Care Visit Copays - October 6, 2016
On Oct. 6, 2016, UCAOA sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of proposed changes to the cost-sharing structure for urgent care for standardized options, or Simple Choice plans, that plan issuers offer in the individual insurance Marketplace. If finalized, the new cost-sharing structure would be effective in 2018.

Congress Poised to Eliminate Urgent Care Pre-Authorization Requirements Under TRICARE - September 15, 2016
UCAOA sent a letter  to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees expressing support for legislative language in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would eliminate the TRICARE pre-authorization requirements for beneficiaries seeking urgent care services.

UCAOA Continues Push for Veterans’ Access to Urgent Care - July 11, 2016
The UCAOA sent a letter to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs calling on Congress to include coverage of services provided in urgent care centers within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In the letter, the UCAOA stated its strong support of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposal to improve VHA health care services by making changes to allow veterans access to urgent care centers.

UCAOA Positions Itself in VA Healthcare Discussions - May 24, 2016
The U.S. Senate Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Committee held a hearing on May 24, 2016, to discuss legislative proposals to modernize the Veteran Health Administration. In conjunction with the hearing, UCAOA submitted a statement offering that urgent care centers are well-positioned to meet the acute healthcare needs of U.S. Veterans.

TRICARE Urgent Care Pilot Launched - May 23, 2016
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) launched its congressionally mandated urgent care pilot for TRICARE beneficiaries.  Under the three-year pilot, TRICARE beneficiaries will be allowed two unauthorized urgent care visits per fiscal year. Beyond the two urgent care visits without authorization, a TRICARE patient will be required to get a referral (or authorization) for an urgent care visit to be covered.

TRICARE Releases Details of Urgent Care Pilot - April 12, 2016
On April 12, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) released details of a congressionally mandated three-year pilot program that will determine if the requirement to obtain a referral influences where TRICARE beneficiaries seek care for non-emergency conditions. Specifically, the law directs the DHA to implement a pilot that allows TRICARE beneficiaries to access urgent care centers without pre-authorization.

Congressional Committee Launches Review of Concussions - March 14, 2016
The House Energy and Commerce Committee kicked off its broad review of concussions this Monday, March 14, 2016, with a roundtable discussion led by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (O&I) Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). At the roundtable, a top official with the NFL made a dramatic statement, agreeing that a link exists between football-related brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL had never before publicly acknowledged such a connection despite the mounting evidence. When asked by Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) if a connection between football and CTE had been established, Miller replied, “The answer to that question is certainly yes.” 

UCAOA Positions Itself for National Discussion on Head Injury Prevention - January 2016

Working to position urgent care providers as key stakeholders in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion injuries, UCAOA Health and Public Policy Committee Member and Righttime CEO Robert Graw, Jr., MD, and Katharine Tate, director of provider and community outreach at Righttime, met with Republican and Democratic congressional offices in earlier this month to share their sports injury and concussion care program and how components could serve as a national model.  

UCAOA Submits Comments on Proposed Discharge Instructions - January 4, 2016
On January 4, 2016, UCAOA offered comment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Agency’s proposed revisions to requirements for discharge planning for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and home health agencies.

UCAOA Initiates Dialogue with Defense Health Agency - January 2016
The Department of Defense has until the end of June 2016 to implement a pilot program that allows TRICARE beneficiaries to access care at urgent care centers without pre-authorization. The three-year pilot program was included in the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Authorization Act signed by the president in November.
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