Feature | ACC 2018 Legislative Conference: A Lesson in Engagement, Collaboration and Influence
Nearly 500 cardiovascular professionals from across the U.S. descended on Washington, DC, for the ACC's annual Legislative Conference.
The key messages to lawmakers: fund medical research; ease administrative burdens and improve patient care; and collaborate across party lines on cardiovascular priorities like the Quality Payment Program, Children's Health Insurance Program, team-based care, and more.
During the immersive three-day advocacy training, participants engaged in discussions around ways to reduce administrative burden and successfully navigate advanced payment models. ACC Advocacy Staff also provided a closer look at the potential impacts of proposed regulatory changes. Educational sessions also focused on innovative approaches to state advocacy, effectively using social media, and the importance of sharing personal stories to drive home advocacy messages – and how to do that well.
ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, also provided an in-depth look at the state of patients, ACC members and the College itself, while ACC's new CEO Timothy W. Attebery, MBA, FACHE, shared his thoughts for achieving the College's vision of a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. The College's next Strategic Plan, which will debut in 2019, provides a strategic platform for working with health systems, ensuring physician well-being, reducing administrative burden and more.
Collaboration was a common theme throughout the conference as well. Not only did a record number of cardiovascular care team members participate in the conference, but leaders and staff from partner cardiovascular societies led a special forum on ways the ACC and specialty cardiovascular societies can work together to truly transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.
Collaboration was also an important element of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and their staff on Capitol Hill. Delegations made up of cardiovascular professionals spanning the entire field of cardiology, including Fellows in Training, Cardiovascular Team members, Women in Cardiology (WIC) members, and others, joined together to meet with representatives and senators from each state. The combined voices helped to showcase the variety of challenges facing both the profession and patients.
As usual, the Legislative Conference provided an opportunity to celebrate the work of the ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) as the voice of the cardiovascular community in shaping health care policies. In addition, the hundreds of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill laid important groundwork for ACC members and Chapters to continue to build relationships and help to influence health policy back at home.
Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Social Media, Fellowships and Scholarships, Health Policy, Patient Care, Financial Management, Biomedical Research
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