Advocacy Highlights from the 2012 BOG Spring Meeting & OTO Advocacy Summit
The Board of Governors (BOG) Spring Meeting & OTO Advocacy Summit took place May 6-8, at the Old Town Hilton Hotel, in Alexandria, VA. This year's summit and spring meeting were combined to accommodate the many members who participate in both activities to help reduce their time away from their practices and their families. With more than 75 Academy members participating, this year's summit surpassed last year's Joint Surgical Advocacy Conference (JSAC) ENT participation by 9 percent.
Summit activities began with the ENT PAC reception at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Members of the ENT PAC Leadership Clubs and on-site contributors were invited to participate in this year's reception. Reception attendees had the opportunity to mingle with colleagues and admire the view from the memorial's observation deck. Participants also had a surprise guest, as "George Washington" spoke with attendees and took photos with guests. The ENT PAC reception had 50 PAC contributors and surpassed its fundraising goal by raising more than $12,000.
On the second day, the summit officially kicked off with a luncheon and a presentation by Julius W. Hobson, Jr., on the 2012 election year and its possible influence on healthcare policy. Following a legislative briefing by Academy staff, Jay McCarthy, a former health policy advisor for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, prepared attendees for the next day's Capitol Hill visits with his "Advocacy Do's & Don'ts" presentation, which provided background on proper decorum when meeting with members of Congress and their staff.
The afternoon continued with presentations from U.S. Rep. John Sullivan (OK-R), and U.S. Rep. David Scott (GA-D), leaders in the "truth-in-advertising" effort and Chris Dawe from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These presenters discussed the legislative tone of Washington, DC, and their expectations for healthcare policy for the coming year. However, judging by the number of audience questions, the presenter of the day was Robert I. Field, JD, MPH, PhD, a professor at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University. Dr. Field discussed the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its potential effect on the healthcare community.
The day's activities concluded with a self-guided National Mall tour. Participants toured the many famous monuments of Washington, DC, such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and the newest addition, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The conference culminated with a full day of meetings with members of Congress and/or their staffs. 50 ENT physicians traveled to Capitol Hill and met with more than 130 Congressional offices, representing 27 states and the District of Columbia. Physicians spoke to legislators and staff regarding several issues of importance to the specialty including, Medicare physician payment reform, repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, medical liability reform, and healthcare truth-in-advertising legislation. Attendees were invited back to the AAO-HNS Capitol Hill office to provide feedback to Academy staff on their meetings prior to their departure from Washington, DC.
The AAO-HNS Government Affairs team appreciates the Academy members who took time out of their demanding schedules to attend this year's spring meeting and summit. For more information, visit www.entnet.org/conferencesandevents