On April 25-26, NASS members from across the country flew into DC to advocate on key issues that directly affect spine specialists and their patients. The 2023 NASS Advocacy Conference was the first event of this kind NASS has held since 2019. Representing 14 different state delegations, these NASS members met with their personal Senators and Representatives, along with legislators that sit on committees that have jurisdiction of health care policies.
The two-day event saw the attendees meet on the 25th to discuss a myriad of legislative topics with a bipartisan-bicameral selection of Congressmembers. An overwhelming theme that arose from each of the Congressional speakers was the importance of spine specialists coming to DC to express their concerns. While there are 16 physicians currently serving in the House and Senate, none have treated spine-related injuries, and by attending the NASS Advocacy Conference spine specialists were able to provide expert testimony, share personal experiences, and offer practical solutions to the challenges facing their communities directly to these federal legislators.
On the 26th, attendees walked to Capitol Hill to sit down with their Senators, Representatives and their staff to urge their support on the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474) – legislation that would tie the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to the Medicare Economic Index allowing for physician reimbursement rates to adjust for inflation – as well as asking that Congress reintroduce and pass legislation that would streamline prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program, the Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act. The latter piece of legislation unanimously passed out of the House of Representatives last year but failed to pass the Senate before the close of the 117th Congress.
Finally, the Advocacy Conference attendees asked that Congress exercise its oversight authority over the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury to ensure the bipartisan-bicameral developed No Surprises Act is properly implemented as written by Congress – particularly the section on the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process – and that the Congressional intent to create a balanced process to resolve payment disputes between insurance plans and health care providers be maintained in the IDR process.
While the 2023 NASS Advocacy Conference may be over, you can still add your voice to the advocacy efforts of these attendees. By clicking here
, you will be redirected to the NASS Action Network where you can send emails directly to your Senators and Representatives on these key advocacy issues.
If you have questions on any of the NASS advocacy efforts or would like information about the next NASS Advocacy Conference, please email the Advocacy Department at Advocacy@Spine.org