No one is more qualified than you to tell lawmakers how their policies affect your ability to provide quality care and your patients’ ability to access it. Think contacting your legislators doesn’t matter? Think again.
Thanks to the diligence of ACR and ARHP members who took the time to call, write, tweet, and email their legislators, rheumatology was able to play an integral role in extending the implementation timeline for MACRA, pressure CMS to revise the Medicare Part B Drug Reimbursement Project, help preserve funding for rheumatic disease research; aid in passing step therapy legislation in more than ten states, and successfully advocate to the FDA for biosimilar therapies to have distinguishable names.
All of this happened within one short year, and while much has been accomplished, there are many issues that we’re still working to address — and we need your help. Patients are struggling to avoid the high co-payments associated with specialty tiers. Funding for NIH research is nearly 25 percent less than in 2003 and continues to decline. And unfair and overly restrictive insurer practices are limiting patients’ access to critical treatments and, in some cases, prohibiting rheumatologists from being compensated for the care they provide.
Your voice is an essential part of the ACR’s advocacy efforts, and our Legislative Action Center (LAC) makes contacting your legislator easier than ever before. From the homepage, you can quickly:
- Access information on legislative initiatives the ACR currently needs your help with
- Find the elected officials for your district and their contact information
- View and search for legislation
- Share your concerns with your Senator(s) and Representatives using a customizable email template
You can find the LAC at www.rheumatology.org/advocacy. We also recommend signing up for alerts on changes in federal and state issues that affect you and your patients. It takes less than two minutes to ensure you will be notified when new advocacy initiatives and updates are available.
Encourage your patients to have a voice in the legislative process, as well. To help them make their voices heard, we have designed a special action center just for patients on the ACR’s Simple Tasks website (www.simpletasks.org) that provides patient-centric overviews of our current issues and all of the same tools available to you for contacting their legislators.
Special Tuesday Session
Join us for the Tuesday morning workshop How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Practice and Patients: Legislative Affairs, Advocacy, Social Media, and Technology, 10:30 – 11:30 am in room 140A. Featuring revised content and insights on what we can do to effectively advocate in this rapidly changing political environment, this complimentary session is the perfect time to ask questions, get signed up, and send your first email. Don’t let Congress make decisions without you!