The SVS Government Relations office on Capitol Hill helps members and their patients through not only its legislative and regulatory work but also oversight of the SVS Political Action Committee (PAC).
The SVS PAC is an independent entity established in 2002 to raise funds and make contributions to Congressional candidates, with the PAC targeting members of Congress and non-incumbent candidates to advocate for important vascular surgery issues.
This year, SVS staff has already attended fundraisers with influential members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), to discuss such issues as possible Medicare cuts and Affordable Care Act changes.
In 2016, SVS members and staff advocated for vascular surgery issues at more than 40 fundraising events. A total of 91 percent of candidates who received SVS PAC contributions in 2015-16 were elected or re-elected to Congress.
SVS members who are U.S. citizens or hold green cards can contribute to SVS PAC at.
In the legislative arena, a major success after 10 years of advocacy was the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. This law also reformed Medicare physician payment by creating two payment options that became effective this year.
The Washington staff was also a leader in a successful coalition effort to prevent the elimination of 10- and 90-day Global Surgical Packages, included in MACRA.
In the regulatory arena: Working with members of several SVS committees, Washington staff produces comments on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Proposed and Final Rules. Comments on several important issues last year helped result in significant positive changes for vascular surgeons, particularly in the MACRA Final Rules.
Washington staff also coordinated SVS participation in three Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee meetings in 2012, 2015 and 2016. SVS members were chosen to present public comments on Management of Carotid Atherosclerosis, PAD and Chronic Venous Disease.
Staff also reviews the Federal Register that publishes Proposed and Final Rules, signs onto comments with other physician groups, asks Congressional members to contact administrative agencies on issues and meets with agency officials.