AANEM News Express

AANEM News Express

AANEM State Liaisons – Virtual Visits to Capitol Hill

12/29/2021
 
AANEM returned to Washington, D.C. virtually for its 8th Annual Day on Capitol Hill in November. AANEM State Liaisons met with key legislative offices throughout the month of November to educate Senators and Representatives about electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine and the current challenges facing the patient and professional community.


The Liaisons’ primary “ask” of the offices was for support of AANEM’s continued efforts to advance quality standards for EDX medicine to both improve patient care and stop fraud and abuse in this area. Nearly every office was very supportive of this cause and seem poised to take actionable steps in support of the effort in the new year, once Congressional action on President Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill is completed.
 
“While we had been holding out hope that we would be able to conduct these visits in-person, the virtual visits actually worked out quite well, allowing us to schedule visits around the liaisons’ availability. Our message was once again well-received and we’re hopeful for meaningful action in 2022,” said Health Policy & Standards Director Millie Suk, JD, MPP. 
 
In addition to discussing the importance of quality EDX medicine, the Liaisons also asked offices to address the impending convergence of three different cuts to Medicare payments that would’ve resulted in a nearly 10% overall reduction in payments for 2022. As of mid-December, the physician community learned that their pleas had been heard and Congress took action to avert nearly all of the reductions. To see how AANEM members were impacted by the changes, check out AANEM’s story on Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act.
 
Finally, the Liaisons thanked congressional offices for continuing to provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with substantial funding increases and requested a $3.5 billion increase for FY 2022. They explained that this sustained investment will ensure meaningful progress in a variety of research portfolios and bring benefits to patients facing serious and life-altering neuromuscular conditions. The liaisons also asked Congress to establish and fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) which is intended to diverge from the traditional model of investigator initiated research to fund projects and build teams around specific topics or goals. This funding is critically important to modernize research, provided it does not diminish ongoing NIH projects or resources.
 
We will continue to keep you informed as AANEM efforts to collaborate with CMS and Capitol Hill to promote quality standards in EDX medicine move forward. 
 
If you are interested in getting involved in any of the AANEM advocacy efforts or just want to learn more, contact the AANEM policy department at policy@aanem.org. Visit the Action Center and Guide to Legislative Advocacy to learn more about how to set up a visit and talk with your legislators.


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