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NHIA’s Legislative Advocacy Team Discusses Health Care Reform and Grassroots Activity at 2012 Annual Conference & Exposition

(April 25, 2012)

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The NHIA Advocacy Team answers questions from the audience. Moderated by NHIA Board Vice Chair Paul Mastrapa, the panel included (left to right) Lynn Giglione, R.N., BSN, Mary Ann Cope, R.Ph., Dave Grady, John Magnuson, Alan Parver, Esq.

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NHIA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magnuson briefs the membership on the association’s advocacy efforts.

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Alan Parver, NHIA’s Outside Legal Counsel, describes the most recent developments in health care delivery.

 

How will the current political climate in Washington affect the alternate-site infusion industry?  And, what’s the likelihood that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will address the lack of meaningful Medicare coverage for home infusion therapy? Members of NHIA’s Legislative and Advocacy Team provided an update for attendees at the 2012 Annual Conference & Exposition in Phoenix. 

With the political parties tied up in the upcoming Presidential election, it’s a challenging environment in Washington, D.C., explained NHIA Outside Council Alan Parver, Esq.  “While we may want home infusion therapy to fit within future health care delivery models, such as ACOs and bundled services, we also want policymakers to act now.”

In order to do that, our industry must find a way to present them with the cost data they need as well as an operational path for implementation, said Parver.  There may be a chance that home infusion coverage can be built into one of the developing integrated care models, he offered, but even then, data would remain a key concern. 

“It is becoming clear that these health care delivery initiatives will require you to have the right data and the right story to tell on two levels,” explained Parver, “the value and appropriateness of using home infusion in a specific situation, and your particular value and track record as a quality home infusion provider.”

“There is no question we can do so,” he offered.  “Despite the issues that still loom in front of us, we have the opportunity to make our case forcefully, effectively, and—ultimately-successfully.”

John Magnuson, NHIA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs, then took the podium to outline progress on the association’s top legislative initiative: securing a meaningful Medicare benefit for home infusion therapy.

“We have reason to believe that CMS’ leadership team understands our issue from a clinical perspective,” he said, “but they need our help to break down administrative obstacles that stifle common sense solutions,” explained Magnuson.

“As you know, speaking through the power of a patient is the most effective means to illustrate the problem and solution and gain crucial media awareness,” he continued, “which we can parlay into additional support from our friends on the Hill.”

‘Now is our time,” concluded Magnuson. “Remember, real power in Washington is still held by you, the constituent. Double-up on your power by identifying a patient to assist you in telling our message of hope.”

Also in the session, a panel of advocacy experts, including the NHIA Legislative Team and members of the Board’s Government Affairs Committee, answered some detailed legislative and advocacy questions from the audience.