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ADVOCACY SPOTLIGHT


Get Involved, Stay Involved The best ASC advocates are those who know ASCs best.


Are you and your ASC contributing what you can? BY STEVE MILLER A


SCA provides many tools for helping the ASC community reach out to the elected officials whose votes affect the daily func- tioning and long-term future of the ASC community. These short stories about ways that ASC professionals have worked with ASCA to make a difference in the past can help you and your ASC make plans for being involved in 2013 and beyond.


Local Facility Tours In June 2011, just days after Con- gress introduced the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2011 (HR 2108), US Rep- resentative Larry Kissell (D-NC) signed on as the fourth cosponsor of the bill.


What made Kissell decide to stand


up for ASCs? A month earlier, the congressman had accepted an invita- tion to tour the Gateway Surgery Cen- ter in Concord, North Carolina. After touring the facility and speaking at length with staff and physicians, he became a champion for ASCs in the US House of Representatives. Hosting your member of Congress


for a facility tour is easy, and ASCA provides all of the materials that you need online at www.ascassociation.org/ FacilityTour.


Washington, DC, Fly-Ins ASCA members Joyce Meisel and Bev Primeau understand the power of personal advocacy. After revital- izing the New Hampshire State Asso- ciation, this duo came to Washington, DC, in 2012 and participated in AS- CA’s Capitol fly-in. In a meeting with Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH), they educated him on the high-quali- ty, lower cost care that ASCs provide


30 ASC FOCUS MAY 2013


to patients. The meeting allowed them to relay their own experiences with the patient-focused care that ASCs provide. They also took the oppor- tunity to invite Guinta to personally tour their facility. Later in the year, the Congressman toured Hillside Sur- gery Center in Gilford, New Hamp- shire, and within a month, he became a cosponsor of HR 2108 and invited Meisel and Primeau to join his Busi- ness Advisory Committee. The state leaders continued to build their relationship with Guinta, who did not win his re-election campaign in November 2012. This, however, did not stop Meisel and Primeau. Shortly after the election, they reached out to their newly elected legislators and scheduled meetings to introduce themselves and educate these officials about ASCs. In May, they will come


back to Washington, DC, to repre- sent New Hampshire ASCs and con- tinue building relationships with their members of Congress.


All Politics is Local As ASCA Chief Executive Officer William Prentice says, “ASCA and our staff work tirelessly in Washing- ton, DC, to promote ASCs to mem- bers of Congress, but it is true that all politics is local. We need mem- bers of the ASC community around the country to help educate policy- makers about the important role that ASCs play in providing high-quality care, while reducing costs


in the


Medicare program.” A survey of congressional staff, conducted by the nonprofit Con- gressional Management Foundation, showed that an in-person visit to a congressional office has a 46 per- cent chance of favorably influencing them versus only an 8 percent chance when a professional lobbyist speaks to them. Even in this time of grid- lock and special interests, the most powerful influence on Capitol Hill is still you.


ASCA provides the ASC commu-


nity with many ways to get involved with your members of Congress, from hosting your elected officials for a site visit to your facility, to hosting fly-in events in Washington, DC, to supporting ASCAPAC. Ad- vocacy from the ASC community is crucial to the future of our industry. In the words of Chris Kelly, gen- eral counsel of AmSurg, “Don’t hope that somebody else is going to take care of the problem; get in the game and make a difference. Participate on any level. If you don’t, Congress won’t know our story.”


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