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From: The Rheumatologist, March 2011

Advocate from Your Office the Week of March 14

The ACR is urging the 112th Congress to address many issues important to rheumatology including appropriate reimbursement for specialty care, the repeated battle to avert Medicare payment cuts, funding for the pediatric subspecialty loan repayment program, continued fair reimbursement for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans, and the need for increased research funding.

On March 15, the ACR Executive Committee and members of the Government Affairs Committee, RheumPAC, and the Affiliate Society Council will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff to discuss how these issues affect the rheumatology profession and patient access to specialty care.

This message needs to be heard in every Congressional office on Capitol Hill, so we are asking all members to join the ACR’s advocacy efforts and reach out to your members of Congress the week of March 14.

Contacting Your Members of Congress Is Easy: You can call your members of Congress using the American Medical Association Grassroots Hotline at (800) 833-6354 or send an e-mail through the ACR Legislative Action Center at www.rheumatology.org/advocacy.

Not Sure What to Say? Visit www.rheumatology.org/advocacy for the latest on the ACR’s legislative priorities and tips on how to best communicate your message.

Stay Up to Date—Join the Advocacy List Serve: Join the ACR’s Advocacy list serve at www.rheumatology.org/advocacy to receive the latest news on legislation and regulations that affect you and your patients. You can also participate in conversations with your colleagues that will keep you informed about the issues and prepared to take action.

Read RheumWATCH: This is a monthly publication that keeps you informed about the legislative and regulatory issues, grassroots activities, the ACR’s efforts in Washington as well as practice management information. You can find issues of RheumWATCH at www.rheumatology.org/publications.

Each and every member of Congress needs to understand the value of specialty care and how access to a rheumatologist improves patient outcomes. Let’s make the voice of rheumatology heard on Capitol Hill the week of March 14. Take five minutes out of your day to call or e-mail your legislators and make an impact on those who are making decisions that affect you, your patients, and your profession.

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