Top Federal Issues

Federal Legislative / Regulatory Issues

The CSA's advocacy efforts are led by the Legislative and Practice Affairs Division (LPAD), the CSA Board of Directors, and ultimately our members. Bryce Docherty of KP Public Affairs advocates on the CSA's behalf on state legislative and regulatory activities affecting patient safety and the practice of medicine by CSA members. They carry the CSA's message to legislative and state leaders, and track and report on state legislation affecting anesthesiologists, pain specialists and critical care practitioners.

CSA works closely with our colleagues at the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Chicago and in Washington, DC, to advocate for the interests of anesthesiologist at the federal level, before Congress and the administration. 

 

Federal “Surprise Billing” Legislation – Your Help is Needed!

Both houses of Congress are currently considering legislation to address the wide spread concern of “surprise medical billing.”  Unfortunately, our federal representatives are considering language very similar to California’s AB 72, which has led to unfair negotiating practices by insurers and may very well reduce patient access to in-network coverage that the legislation was intended to address.

During this Summer Recess, we have been working with our allies at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and CMA to mobilize our members to engage their Congressional members on what we’ve learned from AB 72. Congress is currently debating solutions that would apply nationally -- a “California-style bill” and a “New York-style bill.” You won’t be surprised that health plans are working to heavily influence the outcome. 

 

Contact your member of Congress during the August Recess!

Here’s our ask of you:  ASA and CMA are organizing in-district meetings during the August Recess for our members to speak to their members of Congress and let them know that H.R. 3502 is the right approach. Can you take an hour out of your busy schedule to advocate to California’s powerful and large Congressional delegation on this critical issue? Let’s make sure the federal government gets it right and learns from our experience that patients can be protected from surprise medical bills while maintaining access to strong provider networks. 

To request a meeting, click here

Below are links to several resource materials from ASA that you may find helpful:

Webinar re federal OON Legislation

www.asahq.org/surprisebills

www.asahq.org/grassroots

For additional background, below are two documents from CMA:

  1. Surprise Medical Billing: Physician-Only Background Information
  2. CMA Statement Prior Authorization Reform Legislation

Below are documents that you can share with your Congressional members at your meeting:

  1. CMA Talking Points: “Congressional Legislative Priorities: August 2019”

  2. PAI California vs. New York

  3. Op Ed: CMA CEO Dustin Corcoran and MSSSNY CEO Phil Schuh

  4. Independent Dispute Resolution: The Facts

VHA Nursing Handbook

CSA actively participated in the SafeVACare initiative, accounting for over 7,000 comments to the SafeVACare.org website. CSA members placed several stories and opinion pieces in major California newspapers and electronic media. These included two statewide publications, the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles News Group. Many CSA members spent time communicating with our Congressional representatives in Washington during the ASA Legislative Conference, by phone and email, and during district visits. CSA leaders were instrumental in obtaining co-signatures on the Benishek-Brownley letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, urging the retention of the care team concept and the current policy directives in the VHA Nursing Handbook. The following members of the CA congressional delegation signed onto the latest (June, 2016) Benishek Brownley letter on this issue: Julia Brownley, D-CA-26, Jackie Speier, D-CA-14, Jim Costa, D-CA-16, Mimi Walters, R-CA-45, Jared Huffman, D-CA-02, Judy Chu, D-CA-27, Mike Honda, D-CA-17, Jeff Denham, R-CA-10, Ted Lieu D-CA-33, Alan Lowenthal, D-CA-47, and Ami Bera, D-CA-07.

ASA Annual Legislative Conference

CSA Board Members and other advocates regularly participate in ASA’s annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC where they meet with members of the California Congressional delegation, other members of Congress and the Administration and staff to discuss issues of critical importance to the profession of anesthesiology. 

For information on the 2016 ASA Legislative Conference, please click here.