He adds, “I think creating this avenue for a network will not only strengthen each of our own practices, but also the care for the patients in the state as a whole.”
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Establishing a Network
To get the process started, Dr. Snow reached out to his contacts within the ACR for advice. Soon, he had more names than he could manage. The most pivotal suggestion he received was to partner with the Nebraska Medical Association.
“It has allowed all the technical aspects of forming a society to be dealt with by people who deal with those kinds of things,” he says. The association charges the rheumatology organization a small fee, covered by membership dues.
The biosimilar bill in Nebraska passed before the rheumatology society mobilized, and it’s one the organization is happy with, but Dr. Snow is grateful to now have a formal network in place to help engage the rheumatology community.
“The legislature may be debating something at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, and it can be tough to get out and [participate in the debate] if you’re in clinic,” he says. But now, “we can pool our resources to get someone there, to find people to testify, to communicate among ourselves.”
Kelly April Tyrrell writes about health, science and health policy. She lives in Madison, Wis.