Hotel: Mandarin Oriental Hotel
|8:00 am||Registration desk will be open|
|8:30 am||A special briefing for medical students and residents/fellows in-training|
|10:30 am||Grassroots advocacy training session|
|12:45 pm||Opening remarks|
Additional event planning materials will be made available here as the event date nears.
Message from Bob Doherty and Shuan Tomlinson
Welcome to Leadership Day 2017, the College’s annual two-day advocacy event held in Washington, D.C. that enables ACP to increase its presence on Capitol Hill and bring our issues of concern to U.S. lawmakers. We have an exciting program and experience in store for you, including many educational briefings on the key policies you will be discussing with lawmakers as well as an opportunity for you to socialize with your colleagues. This year, the event will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, which is a short metro ride or taxi ride to Congressional offices.
Political Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for our Advocacy Agenda
Leadership Day and advocacy in general have always been of key importance to the College and this year they may hold even greater significance as we face some unprecedented challenges and some unique opportunities as well.
With the support of President Donald Trump, the Republican-led Congress has embarked on an effort to repeal and replace the current-law coverage and consumer protections for tens of millions of patients under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The repeal and replace bill that they are trying to advance would eliminate the Medicaid program as we know it by capping the federal contribution to it; phasing out funding for Medicaid expansion; repealing or weakening protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and raising premiums and deductibles for older and sicker patients. While the bill, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), is currently stalled in Congress, the Administration and congressional leaders have stated that they still plan to bring it back, potentially with changes that would result in even more people losing coverage.
The President has also proposed a budget that would cut many millions of dollars from federal programs that support medical and health services research, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), health professions workforce training programs, and many more critically important health initiatives.
ACP has stood front-and-center in opposing the bill to replace the ACA with an alternative that would result in 24 million losing coverage, according to the independent and nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, with older, sicker and poorer patients being most vulnerable. The College is also fighting to ensure that NIH, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), health professions training programs, and other programs at risk of budget cuts are adequately funded.
At the same time, we see opportunities to advance the College’s advocacy agenda with the Trump Administration and Congress. President Trump has promised to tackle the issue of rising prescription drug prices, a top ACP priority. He has issued an executive order to identify ways to expand prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders, another College priority. Congress will also need to do its part by providing funding for the initiatives created by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), enacted by a huge bipartisan majority in the previous Congress. We also see a unique opportunity to advance ACP’s agenda on reducing the crushing burden of administrative tasks imposed on physicians and their patients, based on a major new College position paper published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Finally, this Administration and Congress may be more inclined to consider reforms to our broken medical liability system, another long-standing College goal.
The Role of Chapters and ACP Members
The involvement of our chapters and our ACP Advocates in our advocacy efforts will be critical to our effectiveness this year, and that has already proven to be the case. With your help, and a massive allied coalition effort, we were already successful in at least temporarily stalling the House-led effort in March to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act through the flawed policies in the American Health Care Act. While this was indeed a great achievement, it is likely only the first of many attempts by this Congress to dismantle the ACA. We will be asking you to take action often, and with distinct purpose, on many different advocacy priorities and Leadership Day this year will demonstrate this in full force!
Key Policy Issues for Leadership Day
- Make improvements to the Affordable Care Act. Instead of taking coverage away from millions, stabilize the insurance market, cover more people, and protect Medicaid to ensure greater access to care.
- Reduce Administrative Burdens: Reduce the growing number of administrative burdens associated with EHR interoperability and usability, clinical documentation requirements, and prior authorization; adopt the framework proposed in ACP’s new policy paper to evaluate and propose solutions to unnecessary tasks imposed by the federal government and other external entities.
- Advance Chronic Care Management: Improve payment, eliminate cost-sharing, and reduce regulatory barriers to chronic care management.
- Reduce the Price of Prescription Drugs: Address the high cost of prescription drugs through greater pricing transparency and elimination of anti-competitive industry practices that keep lower cost drugs off the market, and take into account the value of different drugs in achieving better outcomes. Reduce the backlog of generics awaiting FDA approval.
- Reform the Medical Liability System: Implement bipartisan, innovative reforms that will reduce the costs of medical liability insurance and defensive medicine; including safe harbors for following clinical guidelines and the piloting of health courts.
- Address the Opioid Use Epidemic: Reduce barriers to integrating behavioral health into primary care and addressing the related rising death toll from opioid use; fund the opioid prevention and treatment programs created by CARA.
- Support Sufficient Funding for Medical and Health Services Research, Primary Care Training Programs, and Graduate Medical Education (GME). Ensure necessary funding for NIH, AHRQ, and primary care training programs; reform GME to prioritize and ensure sufficient funding toward physician specialties facing shortages, including primary care internal medicine.
Leadership Program and Logistics
The official Leadership Day program will begin Tuesday, May 23 at 12:45 PM with opening remarks from key College leaders followed by in-depth issue briefings by congressional and Administration staff. Attendees will hear from a host of Washington insiders who will assess the current political environment and its impact on ACP’s issues.
An optional grassroots advocacy training session will be offered on Tuesday morning, May 23, at 10:30 AM to help our first-time attendees prepare for their Hill visits. The training will be interactive, lively and well worth the time commitment.
The registration desk will be open on Tuesday morning, May 23, at 8:00 AM for attendees to pick up briefing packets and name badges. On Tuesday, a light lunch will also be provided for all participants.
As for evening activities on Tuesday, May 23, there will be two receptions held early that evening, one exclusively for members of the ACP Services PAC and one for medical students and residents/fellows in-training. There will be no formal dinner that evening; allowing attendees to enjoy dinner on their own in Washington or gathering with their chapters to coordinate for the following day’s congressional meetings. A list of nearby restaurants including relatively inexpensive ones is provided.
We will start our Capitol Hill Day, Wednesday, May 24 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with breakfast, key announcements, and presentations from key lawmakers. Immediately following, attendees will disperse to their scheduled congressional appointments on Capitol Hill. Please note that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a short taxi cab or metro ride away from Capitol Hill and attendees are responsible for those transportation costs. A hospitality/debriefing room on Capitol Hill (HC-8 in the Capitol) will be available throughout the day of May 24 for attendees, starting at 9:30am. This room is available to attendees to allow them to rest between their meetings, have a snack, and otherwise compare notes with their chapter delegation members.
Leadership Day Registration: The Leadership Day online registration form is available on the Leadership Day webpage. Please note the deadline for registration is May 1 and chapter governors must register themselves for the event. ACP National does not automatically register its officers.
Hotel: A room block has been designated for Leadership Day attendees at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC at the discounted rate of $350 per night. Hotel reservations can be made online. The deadline to make hotel reservations is Monday, May 1.
As you are aware, three major airports service the Washington D.C. area, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). You may find substantial savings with flights into BWI. While the trip from BWI to downtown Washington is longer than the trip from Ronald Reagan National Airport, limousine/shuttle service is available. BWI is only a few miles farther from downtown Washington than Dulles Airport. During weekday travel, MARC trains make frequent trips from the BWI airport to Washington’s Union Station (one-way ticket starts at $11). A free shuttle is available for the 5-minute ride from the BWI Airport, baggage claim level to the BWI rail station. Go to: http://www.bwiairport.com/en/travel/ground-transportation/trans/marc for more information and the MARC Penn Line train schedule.
Arranging Your Chapter’s Hill Meetings for Wednesday, May 24: For those chapters that are scheduling their own congressional meetings, contact information for U.S. Senators and U.S. House Members is available online on http://cqrcengage.com/acplac/app/lookup?4&m=13814 – (pocketsize congressional directories will also be available at the registration desk on Leadership Day). For those chapters scheduling their own meetings, please fill out and fax to Shuan Tomlinson at 202-835-0042 the form entitled “Appointments Arranged Form.” Having this information in advance will give the governmental affairs staff the information they need to tailor their advice to you for your individual meetings. The deadline for chapters to elect the scheduling services of ACP National has passed. Those chapters that requested the scheduling services of ACP National will receive their schedules via the Leadership Day scheduling “app” for mobile devices so schedules can be accessed electronically. Instructions for using the app will be made available soon. A hardcopy of the schedules for which ACP National is responsible will also be provided on site at the event for those chapters that elected this service. Any chapter member who has registered for Leadership Day should coordinate with their chapter Governor for scheduling purposes.
For other information or questions about Leadership Day, please contact Shuan Tomlinson, Senior Analyst, State Health Policy & Grassroots at 1-800-338-2746, Ext. 4547 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter participation in Leadership Day and the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) program are the bedrocks of ACP’s advocacy program. Thank you for your chapter's support and we look forward to seeing you at Leadership Day!