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 our physician advocates who took the time to call, write, tweet and e-mail their legislators, we have effected change. We played an integral role in the permanent repeal of Medicare’s flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula; successfully pressured the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to institute safe harbor provisions for ICD-10 implementation; helped reinstate funding for the CDC Arthritis Program; aided in passing biosimilar legislation in more than 10 states; and successfully advocated to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for biosimilar therapies to have distinguishable names.
All of this happened in one short year. Although much has been accomplished, we are still working to address many issues—and we need your help. Patients are struggling to avoid the high copayments associated with specialty tiers. Funding for NIH research is nearly 25% less than in 2003 and continues to decline. 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.
Using the ACR’s new Legislative Action Center (LAC) makes contacting your legislator easier than ever before. From the ACR’s advocacy home page, 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; and
- Share your concerns with your senators and representative using a customizable e-mail template.
We also recommend signing up for alerts on changes to 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 your patients be heard, we have designed a special action center just for patients on the ACR’s Simple Tasks website that provides patient-centric overviews of our current issues and all of the same tools available to you for contacting their legislators.