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 your opinion doesn’t matter? Think again.
Thanks to the diligence of ACR Government Affairs staff and our physician advocates who took the time to call, write, tweet, and email their legislators, we were able to play an integral role in the permanent appeal of the flawed SGR formula, successfully pressure CMS to institute safe harbor provisions for ICD-10 implementation, help reinstate funding to the CDC Arthritis Program, aid in passing biosimilar legislation in more than 10 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 almost 25 percent less than in 2003 and continues to decrease. And unfair and overly restrictive insurer practices are limiting patients’ access to critical treatments and, in some cases, prohibiting rheumatologists from being compensated for care they provide.
Your voice is an essential part of the ACR’s advocacy efforts, and our new Legislative Action Center (LAC) makes contacting your legislator easier than ever before. From the homepage, you can quickly:
- Access information on legislative initiatives where ACR can use your help.
- Find contact information for elected officials from your district.
- View and search for legislation.
- Share your concerns with senators 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 become 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.
The Tuesday session Advocacy Training: How-to from a U.S. Senator & the Age of Digital Advocacy, 1:00 – 2:00 pm in Moscone North, Room 132, will provide hands-on training for the LAC. This is the perfect time to ask questions, get signed up, and send your first email. Don’t let Congress make decisions without you. Get involved today.