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Health System Reform

ASGE Policy on Heath Care Reform

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) believes that every American should have timely access to quality, affordable health care. This should include medically necessary primary care, specialty care and preventive services, such as colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer.

Payment for medical services should encourage high quality and cost effectiveness at all levels of care. However, payment reforms should not put one group of providers against another. Budget neutrality needs to be broadly defined to enable increased payments to some physicians without penalizing others. We believe that real reform means replacing the sustainable growth rate methodology to ensure payment updates that reflect economic indicators.

ASGE also supports the use of pilot demonstration projects to ensure the feasibility and sustainability of broad policy changes prior to their implementation. The ASGE would like to see a system wherein care-coordination and quality improvement efforts are rewarded, and reliance on appropriate guidelines is used to ensure the provision of effective health care. This should be accompanied by liability reforms to protect providers who base clinical decisions on guidelines and evidence-based medicine. Furthermore, we are committed to the use of comparative effectiveness research to evaluate many aspects of care, including provider-specific and site-of-service-specific variables. We seek to align public health policy with an increased focus on wellness and prevention, including efforts to limit obesity, and to address racial, ethnic and gender disparities. Finally, ASGE believes that responsible physician ownership of medical equipment and facilities can contribute to a more efficient, cost effective system of medical care.