GI Practice Leaders Honor Dr. Joel Brill, Indefatigable Advocate for Our Field

May 16, 2013

At Digestive Disease Week® 2013, the AGA will honor Joel V. Brill, MD, AGAF, for his work on quality issues and advocacy for fair practice reimbursement. The AGA Governing Board presents our Outstanding Service Award only when the activities of a person are so notable that they must be recognized.

Over the years, Dr. Brill’s advocacy has helped secure “wins” for the GI community on CPT® Editorial Panel, the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement® and the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC).

“Throughout his 15-plus years as AGA representative to the RUC and CPT committees, Joel has worked tirelessly to represent what gastroenterologists contribute to patient care and our health-care system,” noted John I. Allen, MD, AGAF, vice president of the AGA Institute and clinical chief of digestive diseases at Yale University. “The complexity of the RUC process cannot be understated and Joel has been able to learn its intricacies, translate its sometimes incomprehensible language for AGA leadership and understand the implications of subtle wording and phrases so our practices can be fairly evaluated. We owe a great debt to his longstanding efforts.”

Dr. Brill works closely with ASGE’s CPT advisor Glenn D. Littenberg, MD, of Southern California Gastroenterology Associates, Pasadena, who added: “I was one of Joel's first colonoscopy mentors when he was a fellow at LA County-USC Medical Center and I was newly in practice in Pasadena ... many years later I began working with him when I was a CPT Panel member then CPT Adviser from ASGE. Joel and I with our group of Tri-Society CPT Advisers and AGA/ASGE RUC advisers have worked as an incredibly effective team with a single voice for the past seven years. I know of no one with broader knowledge in the areas of CPT, RUC, Medicare policy and reimbursement issues for GI as Joel and he has been an invaluable asset to me as chair of ASGE's Practice Management Committee. We share many podiums together with talks on coding, reimbursement and health-care reform and Joel donates an incredible amount of time and talent in these pursuits on behalf of the profession.”

Reflecting on Joel’s 24/7 advocacy for gastroenterology, community private practice councillor to the AGA board, Ron Fogel, remarked that “Joel has been a dedicated and active champion of gastroenterology. He has been an effective spokesman explaining to regulatory bodies the importance and complexity of gastroenterology and the need for fair reimbursement. He has been able to translate the language of bureaucracy so that the clinician can understand how our system works as well as to prepare for future changes.” Dr. Fogel’s practice is the Digestive Health Center of Michigan, Chesterfield.

Dr. Brill has served as chair of the AGA Institute Practice Management and Economics Committee, and co-created and provides ongoing leadership to the AGA Digestive Health Outcomes Registry®, the AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology, the AGA Digestive Health Recognition Program, the AGA Payor Policy Workgroup and the AGA Colonoscopy Bundle Workgroup.

“Joel Brill is one of the most gifted individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with and the AGA has benefitted tremendously from his skills and his passion for excellence. Nobody does it better. He becomes an expert at everything he does,” said Lawrence Kosinski, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Institute Practice Management and Economics Committee and managing partner, Illinois Gastroenterology Group, Elgin.

Dr. Brill makes significant editorial contributions to GI & Hepatology News and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. On a regular basis, Dr. Brill represents the AGA at meetings with the AMA, specialty societies, payors, Congress, HHS, NIH, FDA, CMS, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies.

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