Highlights From ACC’s 2018 Legislative Conference

ACC's 2018 Legislative Conference recently took place in Washington, DC. It was the largest legislative conference to date with more than 470 attendees, 70 of which were ACC CV Team Section members.

The CV Team Section members kicked off the first day of the conference with a pre-legislative session moderated by Linda L. Hart, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, AACC. This was the 10th annual CV Team Section pre-session where we could collaborate and become energized by our peers as well as learn about policy that affects the cardiovascular team. One exciting addition to the legislative conference was our very first dietitian, Megann Karsch, who described the latest legislation on billing practices and explained how dietitians can be a crucial part of our team.

In addition to expanding our CV Team Section reach, the meeting also had its inaugural policy poster session. Three posters were presented highlighting the importance of policy and health care and illustrated how the CV Team Section can have an impact on advocacy. If it was not for forward thinkers, the Health and Human Services' recommendation for pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart disease would not have passed.

Monday morning brought the states together with delineated tables bearing your states name. A full day of breakout sessions, lectures and storytelling culminated in three points we wanted to our congressman to know.

  1. Bipartisan budget act of 2018. We thanked those congressmen who voted "yes" for the bill. This bill had the provision to allow advanced practice providers to supervise cardiac rehab. (Do not know which way your congressman voted? Download the advocacy app to find out!)
  2. H.R. 3592 and HR 1222. We asked our congressmen to foster medical innovation and research through funding for the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HR 3592 allots funding for research on cardiovascular diseases among the south Asian population and HR 1222 enhances congenital heart disease research and surveillance.
  3. Ease administrative burdens and improve patient care. We asked our representatives to cosign a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that requests review of prior authorization under Medicare advantage.

Empowered by knowledge and passion for advocacy, 470 delegates from the ACC (clad in ACC PAC pins) ascended Capitol Hill. It was a powerful sight! I encourage you to ask ACC members about their experience and hope to see you next year, Nov. 2 – 4, 2019.

This article was authored by Jolin V. Honas, NP, AACC, cardiac nurse practitioner at Centura Health in Denver, CO.