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News and Press: News & Views

Congress is in Recess: Take Your Representative on a Home Visit

Thursday, April 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kyle Simon

Congress adjourned its work in Washington on Thursday, April 6, and will return to Florida for the Easter recess, which spans from April 7 to April 24. This is an opportune time to take your member of Congress on a home visit. 

Industry advocacy is critical to the future of each and every home care agency. The more members of Congress know about the home health care industry, the better their decisions will be for all of us. Congress is responsible for making the laws that govern how we do business, how much we get paid and what services we can provide our patients. Ultimately, they are responsible for whether our patients can stay in their homes, where they prefer to live. 

Pictured: At right, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) visits with constituent receiving Medicare-funded physical therapy at home.

Just consider the recent delay of the Medicare Pre-Claim Review Demonstration –– Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio were champions for the industry on this critical issue, and it wouldn’t have happened if they did not recognize the importance of the Medicare home health benefit to the patients you serve.

However, we still have work to do to educate the 27 members of the House delegation, 10 of whom were elected in 2016. 

Where do you start?

Here are some easy steps to follow (as soon as possible!):

  • Visit House.gov to identify your U.S. representative using your ZIP code.
  • Call his/her Washington office and ask to speak to the representative’s scheduler.
  • Be as clear and concise as possible in stating what you want (to have the legislator or a local staff person accompany you on a home care visit to a patient in his/her district), why it is a good opportunity for the legislator, and when/where you want to make the visit happen. Be sure to mention that the patient will be a voter in the representative’s district and that your agency serves his/her constituents. In terms of date, offer several possible options during the 4/7-4/24 recess. They may ask that you put your request in writing.

For more tips for securing a home visit with a lawmaker, click here.

If you successfully secure a home visit with your congressperson, contact Kyle Simon, HCAF’s Director of Government Affairs and Communications, at ksimon@homecarefla.org or call (202) 830-4080. HCAF staff will gladly attend the home visit with you and help shore up all the details before the visit.


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