AARC’s advocacy outreach is more than legislative activities and getting members of Congress to become cosponsors of bills that we support. We have a network of stakeholders with whom we collaborate on a variety of issues that adds visibility to the mission of the AARC. From time to time, we have highlighted a few of those activities in AARC Newsroom articles. In retrospect, we realize that is not enough to show the breadth of our collaborative efforts which include letters and comments to key Congressional leaders, committees of jurisdiction (e.g., Energy & Commence, Ways & Means, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Senate Finance), Administration officials, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Keeping up with changes to Medicare rules that may impact respiratory care or highlighting the letters and comments we sign on jointly with other organizations which occur almost weekly requires regular changes to our website, and the structure we had in place did not allow for the system to keep abreast of the latest activities and provide timely updates. We took a hard look at the current layout and have established a system designed to provide our members with a more through overview of our advocacy work. The changes highlight our collaborative initiatives so members are keyed in on the extensive efforts the AARC engages in with others that can help them be advocates for their patients.
We have a new section under the Advocacy Menu titled AARC COLLABORATION ON FEDERAL POLICIES that provides up-to-date information on issues of importance to the AARC, the profession, our members, and our patients. The topics are divided into seven key areas:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Each section has an introduction and then links to the actions AARC took related to that subject. This enables you to read the individual comments and understand more fully how the AARC works for our members throughout the year. At the outset, we wanted to give you the opportunity to review the fifty-seven entries from 2021 and six entries so far for 2022. Updates will be planned every two weeks, as applicable, and over time we will delete older items from the previous year to keep the website manageable.
As we prepare for our 2022 advocacy campaign, the section titled “AARC Advocacy Agenda” and our TAKE ACTION page and social media content will be updated to highlight this year’s campaign. It will focus on improving patient access to pulmonary rehabilitation services and to the clinical expertise of respiratory therapists that is vital to improving patient outcomes. You will receive additional information about that soon.
Don’t forget to check out the brand new Collaboration webpage now. You will find a wealth of material that shows the variety of matters we engage in and a brief overview of the workgroups and coalitions of which AARC is a member. Come back on a regular basis as the revised format allows for timely updates and enables you to have a better understanding of AARC’s advocacy work.
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