By Molly Giammarco, NSGC Senior Manager of Policy and Government Relations
Earlier this month, NSGC member Colleen Campbell and NSGC Policy and Government Relations Director John Richardson met with members of the Iowa Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. to discuss the “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act.” This bill, as you know, would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recognize genetic counselors as providers. The recognition would enable genetic counselors to directly bill CMS for the services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries.
These meetings proved successful, as Representative, Dave Loebsack (D-IA), agreed to be the lead Democrat on this bill as he was last Congress. John and NSGC’s lobbying team, Capitol Counsel, are now working to secure additional members of Congress to sign on as original co-sponsors. This will be a bi-partisan, effort and the 2019 version of the bill will be unchanged from last year.
We expect re-introduction in the coming weeks and once introduced, the NSGC Government Relations team will again ask for your help to launch a nation-wide advocacy effort to generate support by contacting members of Congress, as well as encouraging other genetic counselor colleagues to advocate for the bill.
Similar to last fall, NSGC members will use GovPredict to contact their members of Congress to ask that they cosponsor the “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act.” GovPredict will also enable patients, non-genetic counselor colleagues, and other individuals to contact their Congressional members to voice their support for this bill. Look for e-blasts and additional NSGC notifications with more information about these opportunities.
NSGC’s Public Policy Committee (PPC) is also taking an active advocacy role this year as each member will oversee a specific region of the country and work to engage NSGC members in those regions to generate support for the bill.
As many of you know, NSGC’s GR team has created a Key Contact Network, which consists of NSGC members who are interested in leading the advocacy effort for their Congressional districts. This effort will be critical in engaging member of Congress who sit on key Committees of jurisdiction, including the House Ways & Means Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee. If you are interested in becoming a Key Contact, contact NSGC GR team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the February 2019 Advocate Newsletter.