Advocacy in August Tips for Success: Invite Your Member of Congress on a Home Health Visit
August 14, 2014 11:06 AM
"Tell your senators [and representatives] about the compassionate care you provide and the budgetary problems you face… Invite your elected officials go out on a home visit with you,” said home care and hospice champion Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) at the Home Care & Hospice March on Washington earlier this year.
Senator Collins cites her experience going on a home visit with a home care advocate in Maine for why she is such a strong supporter of the home care and hospice community. NAHC members will be hard-pressed to find a better way to ensure that their Members of Congress understand the importance of home health care in communities across America than asking them to come along to see your agency's field staff visiting your patients in their homes.
This is an extremely compelling way to ensure that your elected officials are informed about the benefits of home health care. Home health visits also create an opportunity for you to write about and take photos of the event and/or invite your local news media along to cover the story.
Here's how to Set Up a Home Care Visit:
Contact the local office of your senators and representative and ask to speak with the scheduler and/or the person who handles Medicare issues. It's a good idea to speak with both.
Invite the Member to visit your agency to see firsthand the compassionate, high quality, cost effective work that you provide your patients.
When you secure a commitment to come along on a home visit with your agency, work with the Member's press staff to invite the local media to come along on the visit.
Brush up on the issues by reviewing NAHC's talking points/issue briefs on preserving access to home health care by opposing additional payment cuts or the reintroduction of a home health copayment within the Medicare program.
Urge the elected official to contact Congressional leaders to express his or her support for home health care and opposition to threatened home health care cuts.
Don't forget to take your camera and email pictures and a description of the visit to NAHC Report. As a reminder, you would need the patient’s permission and a signed release form for photos. Make the most of your visit! NAHC Report and other NAHC publications can highlight members' advocacy efforts.