ACC's 2016 Legislative Conference For Early Career Members

We are looking forward to having Early Career Professionals (ECP) join us at ACC's 2016 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. The Legislative Conference will provide ECPs with a unique chance to learn directly from lawmakers how to shape important policy issues and have discussions that will impact how we provide cardiovascular care in everyday practice. With recent implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), this is a crucial time for ACC members, particularly ECPs, to attend the conference and get an inside scoop on recent and upcoming regulatory changes, legislative action and the state of cardiology. You will have an opportunity to see what happens in the government at a local and national level that directly affects your ability to deliver cardiovascular care.

The agenda for the ACC's 2016 Legislative Conference, is very exciting. The conference will kick-off on Sunday, Sept. 11, with a special ACC Political Action Committee (ACC PAC)-sponsored reception and dinner featuring Michael Beschloss, historian, political commentator, author of nine books including on the John F. Kennedy presidency. He has made frequent appearances on CNN and other news programs, and has been regarded as "the nation's leading Presidential historian" by Newsweek.

ECPs will also have an opportunity to attend a breakout session on Sunday to informally discuss issues most relevant to ECPs and challenges facing health care with ACC's advocacy experts. Even if you have never stepped foot in DC, the ACC will train you, teach you, and make this experience as painless, fun, and educational as possible.

On Monday, Sept. 12, attendees will have an opportunity to hear the address from ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC. Representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will give an update on "hot" topics that deal with the implementation of MACRA and models that will define quality and value under MACRA. These issues are particularly relevant to early career cardiologists and, now more than ever, we will need to be engaged so that we can develop a medical system that works for physicians, policymakers and payers, but most importantly, for our patients.

Attendees can also expect to get updates on the workings of the ACCPAC and current political landscape. You will learn about how to use social media to reach Congress, and how to get involved in grassroots advocacy efforts and opportunities in individual states. In addition, first time conference attendees will get "advocacy basics training" from members of the ACC Emerging Advocates program.

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, attendees will head to Capitol Hill for pre-arranged meetings with their congressional offices. This is a rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and to learn how to speak with members of Congress.

Take this opportunity to learn and get involved now in issues that impact early career cardiovascular professionals. The conference will arm you with information and tools necessary to effect change on both the state and national level. To register for the 2016 Legislative Conference, click here. Conference registration is discounted by 50 percent for Early Career physicians (enter code "EARLY").

This article was authored by Dmitriy N. Feldman, MD, FACC, and Jeffrey Anderson, MD, FACC, co-chairs of the Early Career Professionals Section Advocacy Workgroup; and Anthony Hilliard, MD, FACC, chair of the Early Career Section Leadership Council.