Will Harvey, MD, MSc, Passes the Torch
Angus Worthing, MD, FACR, FACP, lives and practices rheumatology in Washington, D.C. He has served with distinction on the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) for the past two years and was previously the president of the D.C. Rheumatism Society and chair of the Affiliate Society Council of state rheumatology societies. Angus has been representing the ACR admirably, with several briefing and hearing testimonies in the area of biosimilars, among other topics. We share a deep commitment to listening to and communicating with membership.
Perhaps most importantly, Angus believes passionately, like I do, that no rheumatologist is an island. Every practice is important to us because we are all part of the same cherished profession, and we are stronger together.
In light of the recent election, we must remember that all change brings new opportunity, and the fight goes on. We all need to continue to work to support each other and further our goals. Angus is the perfect person to lead these efforts, and from my seat on the Board of Directors, I plan to do everything I can to support him and the rest of the ACR, keeping these guiding principles in mind.
Angus Worthing, MD, FACR, FACP, Accepts the Honor
It’s an honor and a thrill to be the next chair of the Government Affairs Committee.
Thank you to Will Harvey for the kind introduction. Those who have seen his work at ACR will join me in thanking him for doing an outstanding job the past three years—leading our advocacy efforts around ICD-10, capping patients’ specialty drug co-payments, the SGR repeal and the implementation of MACRA, to name just a few important issues. I’m so glad he will continue to serve ACR on the Board of Directors.
Boy, do we have a big year ahead. As many of you know, we’ve already been working closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on optimizing MACRA for rheumatologists; we’re looking to create an Alternative Payment Model for rheumatology, and trying to significantly modify or stop the Medicare Part B demonstration project, maximize federal dollars for arthritis research and make sure biosimilars work out for our patients—as well as work on a variety of other issues.
And now this surprising an election came along! Republicans will control the three branches of federal government, and no matter how each ACR member may feel about those results, the Government Affairs Committee is watching to see what will happen and strategizing how to best advocate for our specialty during this time of change. Two positive developments right now include a $5 billion increase for the NIH budget through the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed this week, and mixed—but—hopeful signals that the Medicare Part B demonstration project will not be implemented.