The Society for Vascular Surgeons’ position on the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) has been a critically important asset to physicians who care for vascular patients. The RUC is a unique multi-specialty committee, convened by the AMA, dedicated to making relative value recommendations for new and revised CPT codes and periodically updating RVUs to reflect changes in medical practice.
The RUC provides medicine a voice in describing the resources required to provide physician services. Vascular surgeon representation on the AMA RUC helps assure that your interests are heard when working to value reimbursement for our services. The RUC, which consists of 31 representatives from various medical specialties, develops relative values for new and revised CPT codes and petitions the Federal Government, as part of its research and data collection activities, to carry out the CPT process. It goes without saying, the RUC has great influence in front of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and its success directly affects our practices. Years of involvement and hard work by SVS members have allowed us to achieve a position of relative influence in the process of representing vascular surgery when vital coding and reimbursement questions arise.
Within the RUC framework over the last decade, SVS representatives have successfully fought to preserve fair and appropriate values for the intense and complex physician work that SVS provides every day. As an example, the most recent set of presentations resulted in 98.2 percent of the proposed RVUs being accepted by the RUC. The value and credibility of SVS within the RUC is reflected by SVS members being elected to three separate terms on the RUC, a feat eclipsed by only one other specialty society (geriatric medicine).
Presently, Drs. Gary Seabrook and David Han are the SVS representatives on RUC. These members contribute a significant amount of time and energy to the RUC process. Their successes directly benefit all the members of the SVS.
Unfortunately, AMA bylaws state that in order to maintain these positions on the Relative Value Scale Update Committee the SVS is required to have 25 percent of our members also be members of the AMA. The SVS is currently in a one-year probationary period due to low representation within the AMA. The hard-fought seats on the RUC could be lost. In order to ensure continued vascular surgery leadership on the RUC, SVS is asking members to consider joining the AMA.
Vascular surgeons can join or rejoin the AMA by going to
www.ama-assn.org. When signing up, it is critically important that registerees check the box that assigns SVS to be their society affiliation.
Please consider joining the AMA at www.ama-assn.org to keep SVS a leader in the RUC.