It has been a very active few weeks for ASET’s advocacy efforts. In July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued a proposed rule on Medicare Physicians Fee Schedule that included reimbursement rates for long term EEG monitoring codes. Several of those codes were drastically undervalued which was cause for major concern within our profession.
As required by the federal rulemaking process, CMS opened a comment period to give stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback to the agency on this proposed rule. ASET submitted organizational comments on behalf of our membership ahead of the September 27 deadline that indicated significant concerns with the proposed reimbursement rates affecting long term EEG monitoring codes and requested that the agency reconsider those rates.
Alongside the organizational response to CMS, ASET initiated a membership-wide grassroots effort, urging our members and colleagues to send a pre-written form letter directly to their Members of Congress and Senators. This Call-To-Action was sent out via email and posted on ASET’s Facebook page. As a result, more than 700 ASET Members answered the call and sent letters to their respective lawmakers on Capitol Hill. These efforts and those of other like-minded organizations resulted in a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress circulating a letter on the Hill which they submitted to CMS that indicated their concerns about the reimbursement rates for long term EEG monitoring as well. This tremendous response marked a step forward in getting our members to engage in advocacy and become part of the policy making process. We look forward to building on this momentum for future advocacy efforts.
Next Steps: Now that the comment period is closed, CMS will review all comments received and conduct an analysis. The agency will then decide whether to proceed with the rulemaking process or issue a new or modified proposal based on those comments. We will be watching closely to see how the agency decides to move forward.
In the meantime, ASET’s public policy staff is working with state chapters and licensure committees on strategies and resources so that the efforts toward licensure will be as coordinated and efficient as possible. State chapters or licensure committees interested in scheduling ASET’s presentation on licensure and advocacy, please contact Jennifer Montgomery, Governmental and Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at (816) 944-3249 (direct) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff Liaison: Jennifer K. Montgomery, BA
- Keep your message non-partisan. This will allow you to work with all policy makers – even when majorities change.
- Don’t overlook new or freshmen elected officials. While they may not have committee positions of power now, take time to introduce yourself and get to know them. They will remember and appreciate that as they move up the ladder in the political hierarchy.
- Don’t forget to say “Thank You.” Send a note or an email after the meeting thanking the elected official for her/his time.