APMA News - February 2013 - (Page 34)

Federal Advocacy Forum By Seth A. Rubenstein, DPM Flexing Our Lobbying Muscle The American Osteopathic Association does it. The American Medical Association does it with multiple partners. In fact, thousands of companies, trade associations, interest groups, and not-for-profit organizations—universities, unions, states, counties, and public school boards—hire outside lobbying firms to help them with their legislative efforts, even when they have inhouse federal lobbying and government relations offices. These external law and lobbying firms (“contract” lobbyists) conduct lobbying and public affairs activities, support and enhance advocacy objectives, and coordinate planning in conjunction with the organizations’ Washington, DC, offices. APMA already has a seasoned internal government affairs staff, balanced equally between Republicans and Democrats and featuring significant policy, government, and government relations experience and achievements. In addition, to enhance the association’s work on behalf of members on federal regulatory and reimbursement matters, we currently contract the very capable services of Health Policy Alternatives. And now, I am pleased to share with APMA members that our Legislative Advocacy department has recently brought on Hart Health Strategies (www.hhs.com) to further support and enhance our advocacy priorities. An accomplished, reputable, and well-connected health-care lobbying and regulatory firm, Hart Health Strategies has longstanding experience in carrying out strategic planning for legislative initiatives, building coalitions, educating key members of Congress and administration officials on important health issues, advocating for health-related federal funding, and conducting public policy research. The firm’s professional staff has a broad range of bipartisan legislative expertise, with individual backgrounds spanning multiple health-related fields, including nursing, epidemiology, and health information management. The firm’s founder and president, Vicki Hart, has personal relationships with numerous members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. She worked for nearly a decade as a senior health policy advisor for two Senate majority leaders. The entire Hart Health Strategies team has long-standing relationships with health committee staff and member office staff from both parties. Hart Health Strategies’ relationships extend to the White House, as well as various federal agencies, including Food and Drug Administration and Department of Health and Human Services officials at many levels. Beyond major congressional and agency contacts, Hart Health Strategies also has strong connections to major health advocacy groups and grassroots engagements. The firm has 34 APMA News February 2013 developed strategic relationships with many medical specialty societies and other key organizations. Truth be told, Washington is a big, complicated place, and being successful on an issue is invariably a multi-venue operation. You need to be active on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and inside the agencies, and you need to know which committees and which parts of the agencies need to be lobbied to accomplish your goals. Hiring this new firm is an investment in both time and resources, enabling APMA to expand our reach and influence. Hiring a Washington lobbying firm also means we get access to all of the firm’s connections and all of its policy and process knowledge and expertise. With this addition to our team, we can spread out our resources to have access in multiple venues in a way that APMA’s Legislative Advocacy department alone simply cannot. It’s not unusual for a company to turn to outside legislative support, even with an internal team as strong as the one APMA has assembled. Additional resources can help APMA expand its network of relationships on both sides of the aisle and provide additional support in managing and advancing our renewed push for enacting legislation to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries have access to podiatric physicians. Although we are pleased to add this new dimension to our advocacy endeavors, I cannot underscore enough that this addition is a complement to our lobbying arsenal—not a substitute. APMA members’ continued and growing grassroots/constituent action and involvement in our policy issues will be more critical than ever in 2013, and now is no time to sit idly by under some grand illusion that your dues can do it all. DC lobbyists can only help so much. The chances of getting our legislation for Medicaid beneficiary access to DPMs passed into law are roughly proportional to the number of APMA members writing and/or calling their elected officials and getting them to cosponsor and work to pass the Equity and Access for Podiatric Physicians Under Medicaid Act. At the end of the day, it will be a strong, grassroots constituency clamoring for policy change that will gain the attention of and motivate elected officials. As former Congressman John Linder (R-GA) once said, “I have seen the times when the grassroots have moved the Congress. We listen way more often to our constituents than the lobbyists.” n APMA Trustee and Legislative Committee Chair Seth A. Rubenstein, DPM, can be reached at advocacy@ apma.org. http://www.hhs.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of APMA News - February 2013

APMA News - February 2013
President’s Message
Table of Contents
Keeping Boots on the Ground: Podiatric Physicians in the Military
Catch Comedian Tom Cotter at The National Opening Session
Annual Meeting Sponsors
State Advocacy in Focus: Sowing Grassroots Advocacy
APMA Staff Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Time Capsule
Social Media 101: Strategies for Today’s Podiatrist
2012 Podiatric Practice Survey: Year of Graduation from Podiatric Medical College by Practice Arrangement Type
Reimbursement
Federal Advocacy Forum
APMAPAC Chair Report
IT Consultant
Website Wisdom
Small Business 101
Seeking Award Nominations
CPME Update
Resolutions Deadlines
Call for Abstracts
In Short
Worthy of Note
Call for Abstracts
List of Affi liated Organizations
Insurance Advisor
New Members
Death Notices
APMAPAC Update
Development Update
Classifi ed Advertising
Dates to Remember
Advertising Index
10 Questions
Your APMA
2013 Annual Scientific Meeting Preliminary Program

APMA News - February 2013

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