Guest Post: Your Legislators Need to Hear From You

By: Beverly Pavasaris
President, Brockton Visiting Nurse Association
President, Home Care Alliance Board of Directors

MA-State-HouseWith six home care-related bills working their way through the State House and budget meetings in progress, now is an ideal time to get to know your legislators and speak with them about the importance of home health in their districts.

Here are four things you can do to make a difference:

Talk to your Representatives

State representative and senators (find them here) rely on informed constituents to help them understand the legislation before them.  Don’t assume that they know what home health care is or why it’s important. Be prepared to educate your legislators or their health care staff. It is well worth your time.

Your congressmen and senators, also have district offices near you, whose staff you can speak with. Make it a point to reach out to them when they are in their home district offices.

Before you contact your legislators, be sure to read up about the home care-related bills proposed in this session (and which the Home Care Alliance endorsed):

  • An Act Relative to Home Health and Hospice Aides (S.1064) sponsored by Senator Richard T. Moore.
  • An Act Establishing a Certificate of Need for Home Health Care (H.1028) sponsored by Rep. Kate Hogan
  • An Act Allowing Out of State Physicians to Order Home Care Services (S.1042) sponsored by Senator Michael Knapik
  • An Act Relative to Telehealth (Senate Docket 1771) sponsored by Senator Harriette Chandler
  • An Act Relative to Pediatric Home Care Services (H.1007) sponsored by Rep. Michael Brady
  • An Act Relative to Vehicles of Home Health Clinicians (H.1864) sponsored by Rep. John Mahoney

Be sure to contact both your personal representatives – i.e., those who represent the district you live in – and those who represent the district where your business is located.

Schedule a Home Visit

Invite legislators – both state and federal – to come with you on a home visit. Seeing how home care works is more powerful than hearing description over the phone, and also gives them a chance to meet with constituents and get a good photo op.  If you would like assistance in setting up a visit, contact the Alliance’s James Fuccione.

Recruit Your Board & Employees

Your board members and employees can also be powerful advocates for home care. Inform them about the issues and have them make phone calls to their representatives as well.

Attend Lobbying Events

  • March 17th through the 20th is NAHC’s March on Washington;
  • Massachusetts Lobby Day at the State House on March 28th; and
  • VNAA Public Policy Leadership Conference is on September 18-19, 2013 in Washington.

If you have any questions about contacting your legislators, contact James Fuccione, the Alliance’s Director of Legislative and Public Affairs.

Good luck and see you at the State House and in Washington!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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