Virtual Congressional Advocacy Day
This year's Advocacy Day was held virtually and was open to all Academy members, making it easy for participants with busy schedules to meet with priority congressional offices.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Academy hosted its annual Congressional Advocacy Day on April 11. This event was held in tandem with the AAO-HNS/F 2022 Virtual Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting. This year's Advocacy Day was held virtually and was open to all Academy members, making it easy for participants with busy schedules to meet with priority congressional offices. Although many of the participants this year were seasoned advocates, it was exciting to see new names and faces advocating for the specialty.
AAO-HNS members used the Virtual Congressional Advocacy Day (VCAD) platform to advocate on the following top federal legislative priorities for the Academy in 2022:
- Support for legislation reforming prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program (H.R. 3173 / S. 3018, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act)
- The importance of providing more long-term stability to the Medicare reimbursement system for physicians
- Alerting congressional offices to patient safety concerns with scope-of-practice legislation (H.R. 1587 / S. 1731, the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act)
- Advocating for Congress to reauthorize the vastly successful, bipartisan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program
AAO-HNS member advocates met with 27 congressional offices as part of the Congressional Advocacy Day event, mainly focusing on key lawmakers who serve on the committees with jurisdiction over health legislation. Some participants were also able to meet directly with physician members of Congress, including U.S. Representatives Andy Harris, MD (R-MD), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), and Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA). These meetings were particularly impactful for our members, as these lawmakers understand the unique challenges physicians and patients face every day.
Advocacy Days are vital for educating congressional offices, particularly the staff who work on health policy in those offices, on the many issues affecting physicians, their practices, and their patients. These events also allow Academy members an opportunity to share their personal experiences with members of Congress and staff, which helps to drive home the message how federal legislation can impact physicians, patients, and the constituents that these offices serve.
The Academy looks forward to building on the momentum from VCAD by scheduling additional congressional outreach for members in the near-term to engage new advocates to represent the specialty on Capitol Hill. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you next year in person in Washington, DC.
If you are interested in getting involved in our advocacy efforts or want to stay up to date on featured news and trending topics in the advocacy and health policy arena, please visit https://www.entnet.org/advocacy/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.