August 15, 2023
In this Issue:
How to Connect with Your Members of Congress During the August Recess
It may seem counterintuitive, but summer is one of the best times to advocate on behalf of pathologists to your members of Congress. There may be a misconception that Congress does not work at all during its summer recess. Many legislators seize the opportunity to spend time back in their district or state to hear from their constituents. CAP members can educate their legislators this summer on several of the CAP’s legislative objectives. Even if you attended the DC fly-in earlier this year for the Pathologists Leadership Summit, August recess advocacy is a different type of legislative engagement that is just as important.
When Congress returns to Washington, DC, in September, they will have a packed agenda with competing priorities. They need to hear from you now, so pathology issues are top of mind when they get back to Capitol Hill. Here is how you make your voice heard this month:
- Learn more about CAP’s legislative agenda. The CAP’s website, cap.org, has a wealth of materials that cover the federal legislative objectives.
The main goals this year are:
- Advocate Locally.
- In-district meetings. In-district meetings are some of the most effective ways to engage with Congressional offices. Recent studies of Congressional members have shown that these in-districts meetings rank equally in effectiveness as Capitol Hill visits. You can normally request a local meeting through your legislator’s website. Remember that each Congressional member’s website is set up differently and the process may vary. If you need assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and CAP staff can help!
- Sign up for emails and look for informal opportunities to engage with your legislators During August recess, legislators are active back home in their communities and attend a variety of events where they can connect with constituents, so check out their emails and websites for more information on events happening locally.
- Hosted laboratory tours. Conducting a laboratory tour for a member of Congress is extremely effective and educational. It is one of the most impactful ways to help CAP members develop relationships with their members of Congress. These tours help put a face on the profession and demonstrate pathology’s crucial role in the delivery of quality health care.
- Advocate from the comfort of home (or anywhere!) Even if you are busy this summer, you can still support CAP’s advocacy efforts. Contact your legislators at the CAP’s action alert center, which provides prewritten drafts of emails or tweets that you can send with the click of a button or edit as you see fit!
Remember that your member of Congress wants to hear from you, as a constituent and a physician, especially on health care policy. For any further questions, please email email@example.com.
CAP’s Grassroots Advocacy - How to Get Involved Online Course Teaches Fundamentals of Legislative Process
This online course will allow pathologists to become better acquainted with the legislative advocacy process. The modules provide you with the core fundamentals of grassroots advocacy as well as a refresher for the more seasoned advocate. This course also defines health policy terms, provides an overview of the legislative process, and details the current health care legislative issues pathologists are facing. You will also learn how to become an effective advocate in PathNET, the CAP’s grassroots advocacy network.
As a result of participating in this assessment activity, you should be able to:
- Define advocacy.
- Explain the importance of advocacy.
- Illustrate how a bill becomes a law.
- Identify key terms related to the legislation in the advocacy process.
- Identify how to become involved in advocacy.
This one-hour session will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to start advocating for the interests of pathologists in your community and across the country.
HHS Releases Document to Help Clarify Fees for Independent Dispute Resolution
On Friday, August 11, the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury released a frequently asked questions document explaining changes to the No Surprises Act independent dispute resolution administrative fee due to a recent court decision.
As a result of the Texas Medical Association v. United States Department of Health and Human Services case decided on August 3, 2023, the $350 administrative fee per party has been removed. Until the HHS and the Department of Labor and Treasury decide to set a new administrative fee, the administrative fee amount for disputes initiated on or after August 3, 2023, is $50 per party per dispute.
HHS and the departments of Labor and Treasury intend to reopen the independent dispute resolution portal for the submission of new disputes soon. The CAP will stay on top of any developments and communicate to members when the portal is up and running.
Take Our News Quiz for August
Are you up to speed on CAP advocacy news? Take our new monthly news quiz and see how many you can get right and share your results on social media.