Part of our Health Policy Platform is to take action on issues that are likely to impact Alliance members. Here you’ll find information related to our legislative activity. Read about The Alliance’s position on Wisconsin legislative bills affecting employers.
Advocacy impact: Alliance supported Wisconsin’s updated workers’ compensation law
The Alliance worked with other groups to support modifying and updating the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act. In April 2016, Governor Walker signed into law Assembly Bill 724 (AB 724). Read more.
Fight the 40
The Alliance was part of the “Fight the 40” coalition formed in July 2015 to fight the 40 percent excise tax, also known as the “Cadillac Tax.” Fight the 40 is a diverse, national coalition of employers, health plans and union groups organized by the American Benefits Council. Fight the 40’s work was instrumental in delaying the 40 percent excise tax and they continue to work toward its repeal. Although The Alliance ended its formal participation in the group in December 2016, we continue to support Fight the 40’s work to oppose a cap on the tax exclusion on employer-provided health care benefits. The Alliance remains a member of the American Benefits Council on behalf of employers who belong to our cooperative.
June 21, 2018: The Alliance has signed on to a letter sent by The Leapfrog Group in response to “a significant threat to the transparency of the safety of American hospitals.” The letter urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to not withhold or curtail public information on deadly infection rates and rates of accidents and injuries in American hospitals. CMS’ proposed rule for the Inpatient Prospective Payment System would remove some critical measures from the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR), which is the only federal program that exists to publicly report safety and quality information by hospitals. Some of the measures targeted for removal are used to determine whether hospitals can participate in The Alliance’s QualityPath program. The proposal for removing infections, such as clostridium difficile (C. Diff) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), from reporting requirements says hospitals spend about 2 million hours counting these infections. Yet studies suggest that infections cost the economy $147 billion a year and untold suffering and grief, according to Leapfrog. Leapfrog also noted that hospital-based accidents and injuries are among the leading causes of death in the United States.
Aug. 21, 2017: The Alliance signed on to a letter from the Consumer Purchaser Alliance regarding Quality Payment Programs
The letter asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider plans to remove cost from the performance calculation used by CMS.
UPDATE: In November 2017, CMS released a final rule for the Quality Payment Program that includes cost measures in performance calculations. Read more about the final rule.
July 18, 2017: The Alliance joined more than 100 other organizations in signing a “Friends of the National Quality Forum (NQF)” letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). The letter urges Congress to continue annual Medicare funding of $30 million for NQF and quality and performance measurement. The NQF represents a wide range of stakeholders, including both purchasers and patients, in identifying the best measurement tools for improving patient care.
June 13, 2017: The Alliance was among 20 organizations that signed on to the Consumer-Purchaser Alliance’s letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt only high-value measures in its hospital accountability programs. The letter addresses proposed changes to the FY 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule. High-value measures are defined as those that are “meaningful, important, and actionable.”
Dec. 15, 2016: The Alliance, the American Benefits Council and 31 other organizations sent a letter supporting permanent repeal of the Cadillac Tax but opposing a cap on the tax exclusion on employer-provided health care benefits.
June 27, 2016: Consumer-Purcaser Alliance sent a letter on physician fee schedules and criteria for physician-focused payment models (MIPS/APM).
March 1, 2016: Consumer-Purchaser Alliance sent a letter to CMS on the MACRA Measure Development Plan
Jan. 28, 2016: The American Benefits Council sent comments to the EEOC on GINA proposed rules.
Oct. 1, 2015: The American Benefits Council sent a letter to the IRS on Notice 2015-52.
Sept. 8, 2015: The Consumer-Purchaser Alliance sent comments to CMS in response to “CY 2016 Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Medicare Part B.”
June 19, 2015: The Alliance sent a letter to the EEOC in response to a proposed rule to amend regulations under Title 1 of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
May 15, 2015: The Alliance sent a letter to the IRS regarding the Excise Tax.
April 3, 2015: Twelve organizations including The Alliance commented on the draft Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.
- Read the Roadmap Draft Version 1.0.
- Read the comments.
- Visit the interoperability website for more resources.
Feb. 6, 2015: Thirteen organizations including The Alliance commented on the Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations proposed rule.
Feb. 6, 2015: Twelve organizations including The Alliance commented on the draft version of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.