AANEM hosted its second Annual “Day on Capitol Hill” in Washington D.C. on Sept. 14. AANEM Health Policy Director Millie Suk, JD, MPP, and AANEM’s Washington representatives from the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington (HMCW) led four teams of 3-5 members of AANEM’s State Liaison program to meetings with their respective legislators and legislative staff. The group met with over 40 congressional offices.
While four issues were discussed during the meetings, the main focus was on AANEM’s meeting with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to work on establishing and mandating quality standards, such as those in AANEM’s EDX Laboratory Accreditation program, for the practice of EDX medicine. The liaisons explained the need for the standards -- to help curb fraud and abuse and ensure only qualified practitioners are performing EDX studies – and asked the congressional offices for their support of the efforts.
“Once again, the meetings were a great success. The legislative staff seemed very receptive to our message and supportive of our efforts,” said Suk. “The key will be to keep the momentum going and stay connected with these offices.” The liaisons will be following up with the legislative offices over the next week asking them to add their name to a congressional sign-on letter encouraging CMS to continue to work with AANEM and other stakeholders.
The state liaisons also advocated for increased NIH funding for neuromuscular research, support for Ensuring Access to Clinical Trials Act (S. 139/H.R. 209), and Patient’s Access to Treatment Act (P.A.T.A.) (H.R. 1600).
In addition to the follow-up emails and letters the State Liaisons will be sending to their legislators, AANEM policy staff will also be reaching out to the general membership to help encourage all congressional offices to support AANEM’s efforts with CMS and sign-on to the letters. Please stay tuned for an Action Alert in the next couple of weeks for more information on these efforts and how to contact your legislators.