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07/13/2017

Securing HME Wins During August Recess

Tips to Connect with Legislators Back Home in the District

The August Recess is just around the corner, and now is the time to make plans to meet with your legislators while they are in the district!  This year, the August Recess is currently scheduled for July 31 to September 4 in the House, and, as widely reported yesterday, the Senate has made plans for a shorter recess, running from August 14 to September 4.  Below are two ways to connect with your legislators and ask for their support for HME priorities.
 
Schedule a District Meeting
Contact your legislator’s scheduler at the local office; explain that you would like to schedule a meeting with the legislator during the August Recess to discuss health care issues pertaining to the Home Medical Equipment benefit.  Send an e-mail (such as this template) or call, offering timing options and to either meet at your office or at the district office.  Reach out soon as their schedules fill up quickly, and follow up in a week if you haven’t received confirmation of your meeting.

  • Prepare in advance.  Coordinate with any others who will attend with you, such as fellow suppliers or beneficiaries who are impacted by the policy issues you are addressing.  Provide the scheduler a list of who will be attending.  Prepare supporting documents to share with the legislator and have district- or state-specific impact stories and statistics regarding the issues.
  •  At the meeting, succinctly cover the issue(s) and include the “Ask”.  Be mindful of how much time your legislator will have for the meeting and adjust accordingly.
  •  Send a thank you e-mail after and follow up on any pending discussions or promises.

Attend a Town Hall Meeting/Public Event
Find out upcoming events by visiting your legislator’s website and social media profiles, calling the local district office for event updates, or utilizing online resources such as the Town Hall Project for event listings in your area. 

  • Prepare in advance.  Develop a key question that you would like to ask during the meeting pertaining to your legislator’s active involvement in protecting HME.  Rehearse your brief “elevator speech” and know your “Ask”.  Telling a personal story and using statistics can help as well. Bring business cards and supporting documents as needed.   
  • Arrive early and stay late to increase your chances of having some one-on-one time with your legislator and their staff.
  • Follow through after!

If you are a member of your state/regional association, consider organizing as a group to participate in these activities to show Industry solidarity and emphasize the importance of protecting and preserving the HME benefit.  For talking points, position papers, or general tips for your upcoming meeting, feel free to contact kam Yuricich, OAMES executive director at kam@oames.org or Ashley Plauche, AAHomecare’s manager of government affairs, at ashleyp@aahomecare.org.