Introducing UroToday’s Health Policy Center of Excellence

Ruchika Talwar | January 17, 2023

We are very excited to welcome you to UroToday’s new Health Policy Center of Excellence. Although the practice of medicine has always been profoundly shaped by the sociopolitical landscape, the COVID-19 pandemic was a stark reminder of how healthcare and policy rely heavily on each other to ensure a functioning and healthy society. Urology may be a small field, but even two decades ago, the estimated cost burden of urological diseases in Americans exceeded $11 billion.1 Despite this, the voice of the urologist is often missing from legislation and healthcare initiatives.


Ruchika Talwar, MD

Ruchika Talwar, MD is a Urologic Oncology Fellow and a AUA Holtgrewe Legislative Fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She went to Medical School at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ and completed her residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

Conference Coverage
Conference Highlights Written by Physician-Scientist
Presented by Diana Magee, MD
( The 2023 American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting included a session on Health Services Research: Value of Care, Cost & Outcomes Measures; this session featured a presentation by Dr. Diana Magee discussing the cost-effectiveness of CT scan of the chest versus chest x-ray
Presented by Daniel Joyce, MD
( The 2023 American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting included a session on Health Services Research: Value of Care, Cost & Outcomes Measures, which featured a presentation by Dr. Daniel Joyce discussing the impact of Medicare subsidies on access, treatment choices, and oncologic outcomes
Presented by Stephanie Kielb, MD, Suzette Sutherland, MD, Chloe Peters, MD, Christopher Corbett, MD, MS, Kurt McCammon, MD, & Aseem Shukla, MD
( The 2023 American Urological Association Residents’ Forum included a panel with leaders in international surgery within urology, sharing their experiences integrating this unique global pursuit into their careers. Panelists included the following leaders
Presented by Pamela D. Tyner
( During the Society of Academic Urology meeting, Pamela D. Tyner, Senior Legal Counsel at Houston Methodist Health System, presented an overview of physician non-compete clauses, which have been a media focus recently. She began by providing a background of the covenant to not compete, aka non-competes.
Presented by Christopher M. Gonzalez, MD, MBA, FACS
( 2023 American Urological Association’s Society for Academic Urology meeting featured a presentation by Dr. Christopher Gonzalez, highlighting the importance of and strategies to ensure retention of faculty in an academic department. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2022 data, there were 172,549 academic
Presented by James M. McKiernan, MD
( During the Society of Academic Urology meeting at the 2023 American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting, Dr. James McKiernan led a panel discussion centered around supporting academic health system faculty in their pursuit of work that is not directly compensated by the health system, i.e. non-clinical, non-revenue generated work.
Presented by Erika Miller, JD
To conclude the 2023 AUA Summit, Erika Miller, JD provided a broad review of the changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) prescription drug program contained within the recently passed “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA).
Presented by Brian Duty, MD, MBA, Julie Riley, MD, FACS, Jonathan Kiechle, MD, & Beth Drzewiecki, MD
Dr. Duty, incoming chair of the AUA’s State Advocacy Committee (SAC) introduced the role of the SAC, which includes tracking relevant state level legislation that may have ramifications on the way urologists practice.
Presented by Arthur Burnett, MD, MBA, Adam Murphy, MD, MBA, MSCI, & Patrick Bingham, PhD
The 2023 AUA Summit included a session by Dr. Arthur Burnett, Dr. Adam Muphy, and patient advocate Dr. Patrick Bingham, entitled “Breaking Down Barriers to PSA Screenings.” Dr. Burnett began the talk provided a history of the PSA screening recommendation from the United States Preventative Screening Task Force (USPSTF),
Presented by Lisa Finkelstein, DO, & Kara Watts, MD
Dr. Lisa Finkelstein and Dr. Kara Watts provided a presentation on the utility of telehealth services, one of the focuses of the 2023 AUA Summit. The public health emergency declared during the pandemic expanded allowances for telehealth services, but these changes were temporary.
Presented by Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD, MPH
( To kick-off the 2023 AUA Summit, Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD, MPH, the 2023 AUA Gallagher Scholar, provided an overview of this year’s main legislative priorities and Congressional “asks” that would be addressed during the Congressional Hill visits.
Presented by Anurag Das, MD, Mara Holton, MD, & William Reha, MD, MBA
( During the AUA Summit, leaders in urology participated in a panel discussion reviewing several important aspects of physician payment reform that have placed significant strain on urologists and urology practices.