Grassroots Advocacy during August Recess: Invite Lawmakers on a Home Visit
With members of Congress having adjourned for recess and returned to their home states, the month of August is a good time to engage your lawmakers about important home care and hospice issues.
August 19, 2015 08:28 AM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is providing a series of articles on suggested grassroots actions for advocates to use to engage their members of Congress on the issues most important to home care and hospice during the August break. Each article will highlight a different grassroots action, including detailed step-by-step guidance and advice. For more information about the specific home care and hospice issues to highlight during the August break, click here.
One of the most compelling ways to inform your members of Congress about the benefits of home health care and hospice is to invite them on a home visit. As evidence of this, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said at this year’s March on Washington Conference that his commitment to home care and hospice began the day that he participated in his first home visit in Kansas.“That day really underscored my belief in the incredible value of the personal touch of the home care industry,” Senator Roberts said. Another example is Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who has cited her home visit as the reason that she so strongly supports home care and hospice.
Here is a step-by-step guide to inviting your members of Congress on a home visit:
Contact the local office of your Senators or Representative, and ask to speak with the scheduler and the person who handles Medicare issues (ideally both) regarding your invitation for the Member.
Invite the Member to visit your agency to see firsthand the compassionate, high-quality, cost-effective work that your agency provides to patients.
When you secure a commitment from the Member to attend 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 key issuesto highlight during the August recess.
Urge the elected official to contact Congressional leaders to express his or her support on the key issues linked above.
Take photos of the Member during the home visit, and email pictures and a description of the visit to NAHC Report(note: you need the patient’s permission and a signed release form for photos).