AAOE Government Affairs: How to Get Involved and Make Change
Friday, August 26, 2016
Posted by: Alyssa DelPrete, AAOE Communications
Government action, whether through legislation or regulation, can greatly affect the orthopaedic industry. To enable members to more easily manage their practices, the AAOE Government Affairs Department provides resources and advocacy to prevent policy that could create a roadblock to the success of practices.
Currently, AAOE Government Affairs is working to prevent the CR to DR transition, which will make cuts toX-Rays performed using Computed Radiography starting in 2018. Based on data from the AAOE Benchmarking Survey, 66% of AAOE members utilize CR in some form, so this is an issue that will negatively impact the majority of members.
When legislation such as CR cuts arise that adversely affect members, AAOE, through the Advocacy Council, works to prevent or repeal such bills. Right now, AAOE is working with Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), a former orthopaedic surgeon and Chair of the House Budget Committee, while gathering data to support a repeal of the bill.
To help AAOE better advocate for members on issues like this, member participation is essential. Part of this participation is letting AAOE know the issues that matter most to you and your practice by completing surveys that are sent out, including the AAOE Benchmarking Survey. Having access to member data allows AAOE to better advocate for the issues that are affecting members.
Member participation makes a significant impact on AAOE’s advocacy efforts. Continue reading for more ways to stay informed and get involved.
Where to Start
For those who are new to government affairs and advocacy, the Advocacy for Beginners page on the AAOE website is the perfect place to start. Read How Our Laws Are Made and How Our Regulations Are Made to gain the necessary background information before getting involved in advocacy. This information can help give a better understanding of the purpose of AAOE Government Affairs and why member support and participation is vital.
Next, see where members fit into the strategy of AAOE Government Affairs by reading Grassroots Advocacy. This page explains the importance of member participation and provides actionable ways for members to get involved. For further ideas and tips for getting involved, read Tips for Effective Legislative Contacts and the Social Media Tip Sheet.
Stay Informed With AAOE Government Affairs Publications
The AAOE Government Affairs Department publishes two newsletters on a regular basis: The OrthoActivist: The AAOE Legislative and Regulatory Update Newsletter and Coffey Talk from the Hill . Both are available to AAOE members free of charge.
The OrthoActivist is a monthly newsletter sent to members that provides information on the status of current legislation affecting orthopaedic practices. The publication is a great way for members to stay informed on the issues impacting practices. The August issue included topics such as bundled payments, the 2017 Physician Fee Schedule, and updated coding changes. Past issues are available here.
Coffey Talk is sent to members on a weekly basis when congress is in session. The newsletter offers a more general look into what is happening in Washington to help readers stay up-to-date. Click here to read the most recent issue of Coffey Talk, and access past issues here.
Members interested in writing letters to their member of congress should go to the AAOE Legislative Action Center. Members can look through legislation affecting practices that the AAOE Advocacy Council has selected and find who their member of congress is.
When members meet with a legislator, they can fill out the AAOE Legislator Visit Feedback Form. The form lets AAOE know what issues they discussed with the legislator so that this information can be used to enhance advocacy efforts. Meeting with a legislator is a great way for members to get involved in advocacy. They are the true experts in practice management and can have a meaningful influence when inviting a legislator to see their practice and meet with them about a particular issue.
Voting is also an important way to stay involved. Members can find more information on their state’s polling policies in the Government Affairs section of the AAOE website. This interactive map includes the times polls open and close in each state and whether identification information is required.
For more information about AAOE Government Affairs and advocacy, contact AAOE Government Affairs Manager Brad Coffey, MA (firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-749-0629).