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 available here as the event date nears.
- How to Set up Your Congressional Visits
- Leadership Day Tips
- Find Your Elected Official
- Key Committee Info
- 116th Congress Members in Transition
- Physicians & Relatives - 116th Congress
- Travel Information
Message from Bob Doherty and Shuan Tomlinson
Welcome to Leadership Day 2019, 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. The event will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, again this year, which is a short metro ride or taxi ride to Congressional offices.
ACP’S Advocacy Agenda
This year’s Leadership Day comes just a few months after the midterm elections, which ushered in a very different environment, one that offers new opportunities and continued challenges in terms of the outlook for ACP’s advocacy agenda for the new 116th Congress. After two years of single party (GOP) control of the executive and legislative branches, we now face an environment where control of Congress is split. The Democrats now control the U.S. House while the Senate remains under Republican control. The 2018 elections resulted in 99 total freshman members elected to the U.S. House and Senate, with a record number (132) of women serving in this Congress.
As a result, some of ACP’s priorities will get more attention and support than in the past, while others will face continued or even greater challenges; in virtually all cases, finding bipartisan common ground will be difficult, especially as each party tries to seize the public advantage leading up to the 2020 elections.
Nonetheless, such challenges and opportunities are precisely why your participation in this year’s Leadership Day is so important:
ACP’s advocacy agenda this year includes many issues that enjoy bipartisan support in Congress, such as reducing the high cost of prescription drugs (which also is a priority of President Trump and his administration), eliminating unnecessary administrative tasks in medicine, ensuring an adequate primary care workforce and, to some extent, stabilizing the health insurance market. In addition, we no longer face the threat of enactment of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as we did in the last Congress, now that the Democrats control the House.
Also encouraging is the newfound attention being paid in the U.S. House to issues of great importance to ACP like legislation to reduce firearms-related injury and death, which has already passed the House, and a newly established select committee on the climate crisis. In fact, seventeen hearings in key congressional committees have already taken place this year in which ACP has weighed in with its recommendations, and it is only March --- that is simply unprecedented. While not all of these priorities will necessarily result in major legislation this year, there is renewed value in pushing them in your visits with Congress. One lesson from the past is that successful advocacy can’t be just a one-or-two day effort that magically brings immediate results; rather, it takes months and sometimes years of sustained advocacy, coalition-building, and persistence.
There are also major opportunities to continue to build on bipartisan support for funding for key health programs, including programs to support the training of primary care physicians, address the opioids epidemic, and fund medical and health services research. Several key workforce programs need to be reauthorized by Congress this year or see their funding expire.
We also see opportunities to build bipartisan support for ACP’s Patients Before Paperwork initiative, and to make needed improvements in the Medicare Quality Payment Program created by the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
While the new Democratically controlled House means greater attention and advancement of some of ACP’s key priorities, we face barriers to finding a bipartisan way forward that would also pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump.
The issue with perhaps the most bipartisan support is that of reducing the high cost of prescription drugs but Democrats and Republicans may not agree on the most appropriate legislation to address the problem, particularly on giving the government more ability to negotiate drug prices, as favored by many Democrats but not most Republicans, or directly tackling the reasons why many medications are priced so high. More modest proposals to address barriers to competition from generics and require more transparency in pricing may have the best chance of moving forward.
Moreover, while the prospects for the passage of firearms-related legislation in the House are very good, it will be an uphill battle to get the Senate to even consider bills to expand background checks and enact other common-sense limits favored by ACP policy. We are hopeful that both chambers could at least agree on legislation to fund research by the CDC on gun violence prevention. Still, it is essential that ACP continue to build on the This is Our Lane movement of physicians speaking out to pressure lawmakers to enact measures to reduce gun violence that do not intrude on the 2nd amendment, and there are reasons to be optimistic that the tide is turning in our favor.
We also need to continue to advocate for policies to protect current law coverage and patient protections and patients’ access to needed health care services against efforts by the administration to roll them back, and to educate lawmakers on the urgency of addressing climate change as a growing public health threat, notwithstanding the difficulties in finding a legislative pathway forward that could command bipartisan support in both Senate and House and with the administration.
Key Policy Issues for Leadership Day
While it is not expected that Leadership Day participants will bring up each and every one of the following ACP legislative priorities in each and every visit with their Representative or Senators, we believe that it is important to be prepared to speak on the following priorities:
- Reduce Prescription Drugs Costs: 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.
- Improve Medicare Payment Policy: Reduce the burden of reporting under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and ensure positive updates going forward, eliminate and/or replace measures that are not evidence-based, clinically relevant, and meaningful as recommended by ACP’s Performance Measurement Committee, continue bonus payments for Alternative Payment Models (APMs), create more opportunities for physician-led APMs, and make it possible for smaller independent practices to succeed.
- Expand Coverage and Stabilize the Insurance Market: Stabilize the insurance market, cover more people, and protect Medicaid to ensure greater access to care.
- Overturn Regulatory Barriers to Medical Care and “Gag Orders” on Physicians: Congress should strive to overturn regulations that allow the government to dictate what physicians can and cannot say to their patients and that block women’s access to needed preventive and primary care services.
- Reduce Administrative Burdens: Put Patients Before Paperwork by reducing the growing number of administrative burdens associated with EHR interoperability and usability, clinical documentation requirements, and prior authorization.
- Ensure Sufficient Funding for Medical and Health Services Research, Primary Care Training Programs, and Programs to Address the Opioids epidemic: Ensure necessary funding for the National Health Service Corps, Title VII Health Professions, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and other public health programs; reauthorize programs set to expire; provide sufficient funding for programs to address the opioids epidemic, and lift arbitrary budget caps that would lead to deep cuts in discretionary funding.
- Support Graduate Medical Education (GME): Reform GME to prioritize and ensure sufficient funding toward physician specialties facing shortages, including primary care internal medicine.
- Reduce Firearms-Related Injury and Death: At a minimum, pass meaningful legislation to strengthen the criminal background check system, and provide dedicated funding to the CDC to study the causes and prevention of gun violence.
The Role of Chapters and ACP Members
The involvement of our chapters and our ACP Advocates is a vital component to the effectiveness of our advocacy efforts, and that includes your participation in Leadership Day. This event is our most critical advocacy event of the year, providing you the opportunity to learn about and advocate for ACP’s health care priorities, have valuable face-to-face time with members of Congress, and most importantly provide the clinician perspective on how policies being contemplated by Congress impact your patients. Your voice and your involvement, as constituents, in the legislative process can make all the difference in whether your lawmakers support or oppose a given policy reform. As always, we appreciate the time that you take away from your practice, your patients, and your family to be here in Washington advocating with us for the greater good.
Leadership Program and Logistics
The official Leadership Day program will begin Tuesday, May 14 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 provide their insights on the current political environment and its impact on ACP’s issues.
An optional grassroots advocacy training session will be offered on Tuesday morning, May 14, at 10:30 AM to help our first-time attendees prepare for their Hill visits. This session is also helpful for those looking for a refresher on what to expect in their congressional meetings. The training will be interactive, lively and well worth the time commitment. .
The registration desk will be open on Tuesday morning, May 14, 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 14, there will be two receptions held early that evening, one exclusively for current members of the ACP Services PAC and another 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 and available on the Leadership Day webpage.
We will start our Capitol Hill Day, Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 AM at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with breakfast, key announcements, and presentations from key lawmakers. Vivek Murthy, MD, former Surgeon General of the United States, will be presented with ACP’s 2019 distinguished Joseph F. Boyle Award that morning. We encourage all chapters to arrive promptly at 7:00 AM that morning to hear the full line up of speakers, and to schedule their congressional meetings no earlier than 9:30 AM so you can remain on site to hear the full remarks of all speakers. 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 (Cannon House Office Building, Room 421) will be available throughout the day on May 15 for attendees, starting at 9:30 AM. 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 April 23 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 $405 per night. Our room block is filling up quickly so if you have not made your reservations, please do so quickly. If you are unable to acquire a room in our block, please contact Shuan Tomlinson at email@example.com. Hotel reservations can be made online. Please ask for “ACP’s Leadership Day” event if you are phoning in your reservation. The deadline to make hotel reservations is Tuesday, April 23.
As you may be 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 15: 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,” which is available on the Leadership Day webpage. 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!