AACVPR members are an impressive group of professionals. Over 75 practitioners representing at least 35 states traveled to Washington, DC this year to meet with their U.S. Senators and Representatives. This took months of planning to obtain appointments, weeks of familiarizing themselves with the issue AACVPR is advocating for, and time away from work and family to represent cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation (CR/PR) programs and patients.

The outcome appears to have been a positive response from the majority of offices visited. Many AACVPR members even included “drop-in” visits to get the message to as many legislators in your states as possible over the two-day event. The result was robust interest in introducing and/or supporting a bill that will correct the negative impact of Section 603 (site of service payment discrepancy).

It is early and the seed has been planted. In order to succeed, you will be asked by your affiliate leaders to join the follow-up request with emailed letters once there is a bill number, which we expect in the very near future.

The AACVPR leadership thanks to those who came and those of you who were asked to write letters in preparation for the Congressional office visits. Your support as a constituent is the necessary key to passage of a bill that will allow CR and PR programs to expand in order to meet Medicare patients’ need for rehabilitation.

 

 

FOCUS ON ADVOCACY | RESOURCES


Moments from Day on the Hill 2019

                       
                                             The AACVPR Michigan Delegation with Senator Gary Peters
 

AACVPR President Kate Traynor and the Massachusetts delegation,
preparing to meet with U.S. Representative Jim McGovern

The entire Tri-State (DE, PA, NJ) delegation
before marching on the hill! 

Marlys Fisher of North Dakota with her Congressman Kelly Armstrong 

 

 

Missouri member Debra Kendall-Dorshorst with Rep. Billy Long


 

Susan Flack of Iowa with Senator Charles Chuck Grassley


WISCPHR (WI) delegation on the steps of the State Capitol

 

Click to view our Day on the Hill 2019 Facebook album to see more DOTH 2019 moments

AACVPR's Focus on Advocacy

The request to Congress in 2019 is to seek support for legislation that would correct the unintended consequences of Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This mandates payment reduction for hospital outpatient services that re-locate or open at an off-campus site. For cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services wanting to expand to improve patient access, this is a major barrier. 

Click Here to Read Our 2019 Legislative Priority


Resources

Want to see who else from your state is attending DOTH 2019? Click here for the latest attendee roster

Other materials for your education and background knowledge:

US Congressional Committees that oversee Medicare

How to find your U.S. House Representative: For the contact information of your House Representative, click here.

How to find your U.S. Senators: For the contact information of your two Senators, click here.

How to find Critical Access Hospital (CAH)s per state: For a list of CAHs per state, a complete list of CAHs and a map of all CAHs, click here.

Contacting and Locating Your U.S. Senators in Washington D.C.:

  1. Click here to find D.C. address and office main phone #.
  2. Ask for the person responsible for health care issues.
  3. Request a meeting with that person AND the Senator.
  4. You may be told you will be meeting with someone else and you may be instructed to schedule an appointment through a scheduling person. Each office varies and you will be assisted through the process for that particular Senator. 

How to communicate with your U.S. Senators' and U.S. House Members' Washington, DC offices:

  • Call the office and ask first for the name of the person who is responsible for health care issues.
  • Ask if that person prefers to be contacted by telephone or by email on an issue of concern to you.
  • If by email, send it to health staffer with a brief summary of what you are asking for.
  • Let him/her know you will call on ___ (date) (5 days is fair) for the Senator’s decision or to answer any questions he/she may have.
  • Continue calling weekly until you receive an answer (or unless you are told to proceed otherwise by the health staffer).
  • If health staffer prefers telephone over email for initial contact, follow talking points below to explain your task. 

    Communication Tips:

    • You are representing cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation for your state’s providers and patients.
    • Try to immediately speak with the person responsible for health issues, but understand that every office operates by its own rules and email may be the preferred method of initial contact.
    • Address an email to the congressional member AND to the person whose name you’ve been given as responsible for health care issues for the member.
    • Follow-up when you said you would and keep trying. It is their job to be aware of and care about health care issues that could ultimately help or hinder access of vital services for Medicare beneficiaries.

    Map of Capitol Hill and Congressional Buildings: You may find it helpful to print this map.

    Map of Washington D.C. Metro Line: You may find it helpful to print this metro line map in color.

     

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    Moments from Day on the Hill 2019

     

    Sen. Cory Booker and the Tri-State Society Delegation



    Patty Lake and Susan Bauman with Rep. Pete Visclosky (IN)

     
    Marrion Harris-Barter, Ashleigh Funk (FL) and Karen Lui
     

    The Maryland Delegation with Sen. Chris Van Hollen
     

    Janie Knipper and Karie Martin with Rep. David Young (IA)
     

    The Wisconsin Delegation at the office of Rep. Paul Ryan