- Attend conferences and sessions that discuss legislative issues;
- Use the ACR’s Legislative Action Center and the Voter Voice app to contact lawmakers. The ACR has prepopulated letters on such issues as step therapy and student loan repayment. You can add a line to share a personal note about a patient or explain how something related to these issues has affected your practice, Dr. Solow said;
- Stay up to date on key policy issues with resources like ACR@Work, an e-newsletter deployed twice a month;
- Contribute to RheumPAC, the ACR’s nonpartisan political action committee. “This is a way members can use funds to be at meetings with legislators who are working on issues impacting rheumatology,” Dr. Solow said;
- Take part in the ACR’s visits to Capitol Hill that are scheduled twice a year. You don’t need “expert knowledge” of policy issues to attend, Dr. Solow said. You only need passion to share your experience as a healthcare provider with lawmakers.
“The ACR will help walk you through where the issues stand and what we believe. I never felt unprepared,” Dr. Snow said.
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Dr. Solow updated attendees on some of the bills that affect rheumatology, including two bills (H.R. 2163 and S. 464) related to step therapy that have good traction in both the House and Senate, with bipartisan support. “We’re hoping to get those across the finish line or attached to other large pieces of legislation,” she said.
There also is a bill for prior authorization that has not been introduced yet in the 117th Congress.
Vanessa Caceres is a medical writer in Bradenton, Fla.