Advocate Perspectives from March on Washington

By Elyse Fulton posted Mar 16,2017 03:06 PM


TAHC&H members from agencies across Texas marched on Capitol Hill last week in a concerted effort to educate Members of Congress on the diverse home care industry and our 2017 Federal Priorities including halting Pre-Claim Review (PCR), addressing the Face-to-Face rule and backlog, extending the rural add-on payment in Medicare home health, working with stakeholders on any Value Based Purchasing legislation, and allowing nurse practitioners to sign plans of care.

Members who went to our nation’s capital included seasoned advocates and newcomers who attended meetings in small groups based on their hometowns, service area, and home care service specialty. Together our group of home care advocates visited 30 Congressional offices including meeting personally with 13 Members of Congress from the Texas delegation over the course of the week between official legislative visits and attending campaign events on behalf of our Texas Homecare & Hospice PAC.

Although it is a particularly politically charged time across the US and in our nation’s capital, TAHC&H members were able to make great strides in increasing the appetite to tackle some of the most pressing issues affecting Medicare home health. One industry leader in attendance of this year’s advocacy fly-in, Marcylle Combs of Foundation Management Services, said this trip to Washington left her more hopeful for the industry than she has felt in years.

One TAHC&H advocate said their favorite memory was when Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo; pictured above) stepped out of a committee hearing to meet with our group.

TAHC&H advocates on Capitol Hill last week. View all the photos on Facebook.

TAHC&H recognizes that traveling to our nation’s capital to promote and defend home care took personal and financial commitment including time spent away from member agencies. Thank you to all our advocates who attended the 2017 March on Washington: Jennie Baird from Angels at Home, Deborah Barry from Standard's of Care, Ken Cargle from Goodcare Health Services, Bill Carlson from IMS Home Health Care, Marcylle Combs from Foundation Management Services, Mariza & Jorge Fierro-Calderon from Holistic Care Home Health Agency, Deantha Grattan from Foundation Management Services, Adrian Killebrew from Axxess, Jennifer Lopez of ResCare, Dana & Ronnie Madison of Calvert Home Health, Lisa Miller of A Trinity Valley Home Health & Therapy, Katie Naranjo of A Pineywoods Home Health, Dennis Petrowskey of Axxess, Rose Rash of Angels at Home, Angela Roberts of A Trinity Valley Home Health & Therapy, Mary Helen Tieken of Nurses in Touch, and Brandis & Eddie Wilmore of Be Healthy at Home.

Our association picked a busy and important week to be advocating for improvements in the health care system. With many advocacy groups and trade associations like TAHC&H eager to make connections with the 115th Congress and the new Trump administration, the halls of Capitol Hill were packed. Coincidentally, the GOP bill, The American Healthcare Act, was released early in the week of our trip. Democratic and Republican offices alike were focused on formulating positions on the proposed bill or examining it in committee hearings.

The March on Washington visits, like all contacts with legislative offices, promote our policy priorities and legislative solutions in a coordinated effort. Importantly for home health agencies, these visits also allow agencies operating in the legislator’s district to make valuable connections with federal contacts who can assist with issues involving a federal agencies. TAHC&H encourages all members to get to know their legislative offices in-district.

If you would like to join industry advocacy efforts, please visit our action center and advocate toolkit! Inform TAHC&H on your advocacy and relationships with legislators by emailing or by using our form.

The elected officials we made contact with were Rep. Jodey Arrington, Rep. Brian Babin, Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, Rep. Henry Cuellar, Rep. John Culberson, Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Kenny Marchant, Rep. Ted Poe, Rep. John Ratcliffe, Chairman Lamar Smith, and Rep. Roger Williams. Our PAC also held an exclusive event with Rep. Burgess, who is Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee with jurisdiction over Medicare. Additionally, we connected with many legislative staffers. View the full list of Members of the Texas delegation. Take the anonymous survey of the 2017 March on Washington here.