WASHINGTON, D.C. — Stories about patients and the impact O&P care has made in their lives are the best way to show the impact of government policies on the field of O&P in a way that connects with lawmakers, according to Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.
Rep. Brett Guthrie
Guthrie and other politicians and policy experts offered suggestions for O&P professionals during the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association Policy Forum, here, in preparation for meetings with Congressional representatives in the Capitol.
“We are all human beings,” Guthrie said.
Although the O&P profession faces many political issues, from split codes and confusion about off-the-shelf vs. custom orthoses to Recovery Audit Contractor audits and administrative law judge appeals, Guthrie said taking the time in a meeting to tell a personal story about a patient whose life was affected by O&P care will stick with lawmakers long after statistics and political points are forgotten.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said confidence is important when presenting issues to lawmakers. “Do not underestimate the value of what you are about to do,” he said, adding that face-to-face meetings with lawmakers are critical in making one’s voice heard.
“You provide a critical component for so many people, and if you do not do your job properly, then indeed there are people who do not get served,” Meadows said. “I want to encourage you to be active [in meetings with lawmakers], to speak, to be articulate.”
Rep. Mark Meadows
He added, “I think it is important for us to speak up for truth … Do not underestimate the power of the voice of the people who send [Senators and Representatives] to Congress.” – by Amanda Alexander
Guthrie B. Welcome and insight into health care in the new Congress. Presented at: American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association Policy Forum. March 23-25, 2015; Washington, D.C.
Meadows M. Congressional perspective — what is Congress thinking about the ALJ backlog. Presented at: American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association Policy Forum. March 23-25, 2015; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: Guthrie and Meadows report no relevant financial disclosures.