SCAI Members Take Advocacy Messages to Capitol Hill
July 20, 2012
Last week, SCAI members teamed up with physicians from a dozen medical societies to advocate for patients’ access to specialty care and other issues that impact healthcare delivery. SCAI President J. Jeffrey Marshall, M.D., FSCAI, was joined by Joseph Babb, M.D., MSCAI, Ted Bass, M.D., FSCAI, Charles Chambers, M.D., FSCAI, Marc Schweiger, M.D., FSCAI, and Thomas Tu, M.D., FSCAI, for three days of presentations and exchange of ideas with House and Senate healthcare policy leaders and officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Sponsored annually by the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, the conference enabled attendees to hear directly from Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Rand Paul, M.D. (R-KY), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Rep. Mike Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). These elected officials spoke on issues SCAI and other Alliance members have identified as advocacy priorities, such as -
- Preserving patients’ access to specialty care
- Achieving fair Medicare physician reimbursement, including fixing the sustainable growth rate (SGR)
- Repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board – the group of 15 unelected, unaccountable individuals who will have the authority to make significant changes to Medicare
- Enacting real medical liability reform
- Supporting meaningful quality improvement
The SCAI representatives were part of a contingent of 100 attending to learn more about how they can be the most effective advocates possible and eager to take their message directly to Capitol Hill. During the three-day “Legislative Fly-in,” attendees collectively visited nearly 100 Members of Congress from 23 states and the District of Columbia.
“If I had to distill the three days of education and interaction down into a single message,” said Dr. Marshall, “it would have to be that it’s important for us, as doctors, to believe in the system but also to become active and help make change on behalf of our profession and our patients.”
Dr. Marshall was among many participants who highlighted messages from the event via social media, in his case live-tweeting key points from presentations. To view his and others’ tweets from the conference, use #specialtydocs. And for more information on the advocacy issues addressed during the Capitol Hill visits, click here.
The Fall issue of SCAI News & Highlights will feature more coverage of SCAI’s participation in the Fly-in event. Watch your mailbox.