April 2015 ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 4/10/2015

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

During March, Dr. James Pitt met with the Missouri Department of Insurance (MDI) and presented ASMBS’s case for including coverage of bariatric surgery in the state’s essential health benefits (EHB) package. While MDI staff seemed supportive, they did state that the legislature would be required to act in order to add a bariatric surgery benefit. This was seen as very unlikely given the current composition of the legislature….

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March 2015 ASMBS Presidential Message

Posted 3/25/2015

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that this message finds you well. ASMBS is continuing to look for opportunities to increase awareness for treatment of our obese patients. We have a recurring message: bariatric surgery is safe, effective and needed.

1. Clinical Issues Statements: Accreditation and Survival Benefit

One of the main reasons we have seen increasing acceptance of our field is clearly because of our safety record. Due to the accreditation movement, advent of the laparoscopic…

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March 2015 ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 3/10/2015

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

ASMBS Washington Representative Chris Gallagher joined with other leaders of the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) for the OCC’s monthly Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, which took place on March 2nd. Mr. Gallagher was joined by American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) Advocacy Committee Chair Dr. Carolynn Francavilla, The Obesity Society’s (TOS) Executive Director Francesca Dea and the Obesity Action Coalition’s (OAC) President Joe Nadglowski and Board Chair…

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February 2015 ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 2/28/2015

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

On February 6, 2015, ASMBS Executive Director Georgeann Mallory and ASBP Advocacy Committee member Dr. Krishna Doniparthi traveled from Florida and Georgia, respectively, to participate in the Obesity Care Continuum’s (OCC) first monthly advocacy day during the 114th Congress.

Advocacy efforts focused on the Florida and Georgia congressional delegations — educating legislators about the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) and urging them to cosponsor the legislation when…

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February 2015 ASMBS Presidential Message

Posted 2/17/2015

From ASMBS President John Morton, MD

I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. As we begin 2015, I am excited for our opportunity to improve the health and welfare of our patients. Much is expected of ASMBS in leading our efforts against the AMA-recognized disease of obesity and my hope and belief is that much will be provided by ASMBS.

As we begin 2015, it is fitting and proper to…

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January 2015 ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 1/20/2015

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

In early January, the 114th Congress convened with Republicans holding strong majorities in both the House and Senate. ASMBS and other member groups of the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) will be participating in a series of monthly advocacy days on Capitol Hill to foster relationships with new members of Congress as well as key GOP lawmakers in the Senate who are assuming new roles as Chairs of key…

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December 2014 ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 12/20/2014

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

Member groups of the Obesity Care Continuum joined with the Campaign to End Obesity and the Medicare Part D Coalition in meeting with members of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council to discuss the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) — legislation that would provide Medicare recipients and their health care providers with meaningful tools to treat and reduce obesity by improving access to obesity screening and counseling…

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September-October ASMBS Advocacy Report

Posted 9/19/2014

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

During mid-September, both the House and Senate went into recess so that legislators could return home to campaign for November elections. As such, there will be little formal legislative activity until late November when a likely lame-duck session will convene.

Earlier in the year, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued specific guidance to both Multi-State Health Plans and Federal Employee Health Benefit Program carriers regarding…

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August 2014 ASMBS Activity Report

Posted 8/19/2014

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

In late July, Representatives Johnson (D-TX) and Blumenauer (D-OR) circulated a Dear Colleague and sign-on letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell to all House members. This letter urges HHS to utilize the same strategy recently employed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with health insurers that provide care through Multi-State Health Plans (MSHPs) and the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) Program. OPM recently…

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July 2014 ASMBS Activity Report

Posted 7/31/2014

Prepared by Christopher Gallagher, ASMBS Washington Representative

On July 29 and 30, 2014, the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) ran a full page color ad in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call to highlight the new AMA HOD policy — “supporting patient access to the full continuum of care of evidence-based obesity treatment modalities such as behavioral, pharmaceutical, psychosocial, nutritional, and surgical interventions.”

ASMBS provided all the funding for the Roll Call ad and worked…

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