In my last blog I talked about being in Washington D.C. to meet with my congressman and Senators. Here are a few acronyms to familiarize yourself with:
AADA (American Academy of Dermatology Association)
Coalition of Skin Diseases (CSD)
The AADA hosts a legislative conference every year, and invite both dermatologists and non-profit patient representatives. Nevus Outreach is part of a Coalition of Skin Diseases (CSD). This conference starts with a Development Day for CSD members, where members take non-profit based classes taught by friends or professional consultants. The next day and half of this meeting is spent learning about three key messages (aka “asks”) the AADA wants us to take to our Representatives (the politically correct form of Congressman/Congresswoman) and our Senators. After the intensive education and training, we take these issues to Capitol Hill and asked to provide feedback and follow ups from these meetings.
Our 2014 asks were:
1) Patient Access to Care and Network Adequacy
A. We were advocating for ensuring that Medicare Advantage networks are providing patients with adequate and timely access to providers with appropriate training and specialty or subspecialty expertise.
Dermatologists in at least 19 states have been dropped without cause from at least two Medicare Advantage network plans. These actions threaten patient access and fail to meet the network adequacy standards of the Medicare Advantage program.
2) Medical Research Funding
A. We pushed for an increase in funding for medical research to find cures and treatments for life-threatening and debilitating skin conditions and diseases.
At any given time, 1 in 3 Americans suffers from a skin disease. Some of these are chronic inflammatory, multi-system, disabling and life-threatening conditions. Under the current budget, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) was cut by $1.03 billion and funding for research on cancer and other diseases is scheduled to face another round of cuts in 2016 and beyond- even as the incidence of cancer is expected to grow as the U.S. population ages.
3) Skin Cancer Prevention
A. Promote prevention, raise awareness and support innovation.
For more information on any of these issues, please contact me at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. If you have questions I can’t answer the AADA will be very happy to engage you.
I hope all of you will consider having conversations about these topics with your local Representatives or Senators! If you're outside the US, I would also encourage you to start conversations on these topics. Dermatological issues tend not to adhere to geographical boundries :P
Representatives here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
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