NRRTS, CTF push local advocacy

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Monday, April 29, 2019

LUBBOCK, Texas, and ARLINGTON, Va. — NRRTS and the Clinician Task Force (CTF) are collaborating on a pilot program that encourages suppliers, clinicians and consumers to team up and increase awareness of complex rehab at the local level. 

“I think a lot of people go to Washington, D.C., and say, ‘I did my part. I went on the Hill,’ then they go home,” said Weesie Walker, executive director of NRRTS. “What they fail to recognize is that the person they saw that day might have seen 20 other groups and although we think our issues are the most important, they deal with a lot of different things, so that's why it's good to follow-up.”

NRRTS and CTF will do a soft launch of the program at the National CRT Leadership & Advocacy Conference in May. Attendees will be asked to identify key members of Congress, and follow up their visits with emails, phone calls and visits to home offices.

After the conference, NRRTS and CTF will kick off the program in three states— Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina—with a local CTF member then organizing teams consisting of a suppliers, clinicians and consumers in those states. 

“When you sit back and look at it, it really is just a phone call, it really is just an email,” said Cathy Carver, executive director of the CTF. “When I first started doing this it was tough, it was nerve-racking, but remember that they work for us. They have to respond.”

Unlike the American Medical Association or Big Pharma, the HME industry doesn’t have deep pockets to pay lobbyists to do the heavy lifting for them, says Walker. 

“You can't bury your head in the sand and think somebody else is going to take care of it,” she said. “There’s not a lot of other somebody’s out there. We’re small, so we need everybody to be vocal.”