The ACR will arrange this and provide talking points and any other information necessary you need to feel comfortable. I have done this in the past and it is a very rewarding and enlightening experience.
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Explore This IssueMay 2017
Not sure how to keep up with what’s going on? Join the ACR advocacy listserv and read [email protected] and the other ACR publications that provide continual updates on policy issues affecting our profession and the treatment of our patients. Go to http://lists.rheumatology.org/read/all_forums, and click on subscribe for the acradvocacy group.
Current ACR/ARHP Advocacy Priorities
Amid the associated uncertainty over future healthcare policies, one thing remains clear: We must increase our engagement with our elected officials and educate them on the needs of our profession and our patients. The College’s current advocacy priorities are:
- Increased research funding: The NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense are all sources of funding for rheumatology research projects around the country. We educate lawmakers on the importance of federal research dollars to ensure the advancement of both clinical and basic science research.
- Repealing physical and occupational therapy caps on patients.
- Tailoring MACRA to the field of rheumatology. For many fellows rising to practice throughout the country, MACRA will most likely affect you.
- One universal prior authorization form to be used by healthcare providers, regardless of patient insurance type or drug class.
- Making biologics more affordable by eliminating specialty tier copayments, and by supporting the FDA approval process, so that more effective biosimilars can enter the market and bring down prices.
- Healthcare reform legislation that prioritizes affordable coverage for chronically ill patients, including coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, limits on out-of-pocket costs and tax credits based on income.
- Repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, an ACA-created agency that has the power to impose arbitrary and crippling payment cuts on rheumatology providers. These cuts would disproportionately impact small and rural rheumatology practices already struggling to stay financially viable.
- Proper valuing of cognitive specialty care, including new service codes that more adequately reflect rheumatology care in reimbursement.
- Adequate funding for FDA biosimilars review to ensure the introduction of additional safe and effective therapies and lower biologic drug costs.
- Interventions to address the rheumatology workforce shortage, including funding for more rheumatology residency spots through Medicare General Medical Education funding and support for the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program.
If you’re interested in a fellow’s perspective of the Advocacy 101 course, reach out to Alexandra. If you’re feeling fired up to support your practice and patients, visit www.rheumatology.org/Advocacy. This page has lots of information and links to connect with RheumPAC and GAC staff members and chairs, as well as ways to connect with your local policy makers.