2016-12-22 17:46:00 UTC

Dec. 21, 2016

Amidst all of the changes that 2016 has brought, AGA remains a strong advocate for the entire GI community, including clinicians, researchers and educators.

Below is a holiday message from AGA Institute President Tim Wang, MD, AGAF

Happy holidays from AGA! It is my great pleasure to send you this holiday greeting and share how AGA has been working for you throughout 2016. Looking into the new year, we know these are fluid and challenging times in medicine, with continued consolidation of hospitals and practices, changes in the physician payment system, and now, the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Amidst all of these changes, AGA remains a strong advocate for the entire GI community, including clinicians, researchers and educators.

Here’s how AGA is working for you:

  • Fighting for changes to MOC. AGA is pushing for an individualized process that is more relevant to gastroenterologists. Our advocacy campaign for implementing changes to maintenance of certification (MOC) continues. Changing the system is a top priority for AGA.
  • Protecting moderate sedation. Last year, CMS proposed cuts to reimbursement for moderate sedation. After working with many members and our GI sister societies, we celebrated news recently that there will be no financial impact for gastroenterologists who perform their own moderate sedation. •
  • Preparing you for MACRA. In 2017, this policy ramps up the move away from a fee-for-service model. It is time to plan and prepare, and AGA has your back. The most important thing you can do now is focus on quality reporting. Moving forward, AGA is providing thought leadership and tools related to bundled payment models and practice expansions (look for an obesity model in the new year).
  • Supporting quality care. We all want to provide the best care to patients, and AGA supports clinicians with the best-in-class, GRADE-level clinical guidelines and shorter clinical practice updates, as well as a new suite of tools, the AGA PatientINFO Center, to help clinicians share decision making with their patients.
  • Fostering discovery. Thanks to generous donors, the AGA Research Foundation awarded more than $2.5 million dollars this year to 66 recipients, including eight research scholars. We are poised to grow our support of investigator-initiated research projects, particularly for early career researchers.
  • Driving innovation. Through the AGA Center for GI Innovation & Technology, we help industry move new technology into the clinic. Our AGA Center for Microbiome Research & Education received an NIH grant to create a registry on the outcomes and utilization of fecal microbiota transplantation. The AGA Center for Diagnostics & Therapeutics successfully held the first AGA Drug Development Conference on the therapeutic needs for diseases including EOE, gastroparesis, functional dyspepsia and GERD.
  • Bringing you the best GI journals. Gastroenterology achieved an all-time high impact factor of 18.2 and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology is now the most-read journal in our specialty for clinical practice information. Our basic science journal, Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central, making its research highly discoverable.

I could go on and on, but I’m visiting India for the Indian Society of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting, which is just one example of AGA’s work around the world to educate GIs. Here in the U.S., I hope to see you at Digestive Disease Week® 2017 in Chicago, IL. We’re expecting our 2017 AGA Postgraduate Course to be one of the best ever. In the meantime, stop by the new AGA Community, a great spot to make virtual connections with colleagues.

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