This post is authored by Cathie Biga, RN, MSN, president and chief executive officer of Cardiovascular Management of Illinois.
I just finished a remarkable two days at ACC’s Legislative Conference in our nation’s capital. While I have been privileged to attend in the past, this was the first time I had the honor of being on the Hill with the ENTIRE cardiac team representing Illinois! Led by our current Governor Marc Shelton, MD, FACC, Past Governor Jerome Hines, MD, PhD, FACC, integrated and independent physicians, FITs, CCAs, and practice administrators, we were 11 strong and hit nine offices.
Sharing our message from the “trenches” was important to all of us, and explaining the vast landscape of cardiology care in Illinois was a challenge we tried to hit head on. From patient access (explaining why imaging cannot be reduced any more or reductions for same day of service is problematic) to the administrative burdens and cost of running a practice, we relayed our message and asked for their help.
While speaking with our Legislative aides, chiefs of staff, and a few members of Congress, we relayed that while payment reform will inevitably happen (and it really must), we MUST ensure accurate quality data is used to drive this process – which the College has. In addition, physicians and their team MUST be at the table when these decisions are made.
Change is inevitable and hopefully our trek to the Hill will remind us all how important this health care message is for cardiology and why EVERY member of the team needs to be involved.
P.S., You don't have to fly all the way to Washington to get involved -- our Senate and Congressional representatives live in your neighborhood! Get to know them, call them, invite them to your practice and support them!
Hope to see you all next year!
For additional coverage of the 2012 Legislative Conference, visit CardioSource.org and check out the photos on ACC’s Facebook page.