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Public Policy and Advocacy Report 2018

Respectfully submitted by Bernie Rock, RN, CWON


Hot Topics

So far for 2018 these are the Hot Topics being focused on by our National WOCN Society:

  • The Lymphedema Treatment Act (H.R. 930/S. 497). September 2018.
  • Quality Measures dealing with Pressure Injury Management in the Acute Care Setting. March 2018.

Thanks in part to the support of WOCN Society members, the LTA is now the most supported healthcare bill currently before Congress. While this is a tremendous achievement, it is meaningless if Congress doesn’t pass the bill, and time is running out. We can still do more to ensure that Congress passes this important legislation. So, if you are represented by a member of Congress listed below, please contact them by sending the prepared letter found at WOCN.org. Click on Public Policy & Advocacy tab. Look under Hot Topics. Click on Support the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Link to the prepared letter is found in paragraph #2.

Contact your Legislator:

  • MD 01 – Andy Harris (R) – 202 – 225 – 5311
  • MD 05 – Steny Hoyer (D) – 202 – 225 – 4131
  • MD 07 – Elijah E. Cummings (D) – 202 – 225 – 4741
  • VA 02 – Scott Taylor (R) – 202 – 225 – 4215
  • VA 04 – Donald McEachin – 202 – 225 – 6365
  • VA 06 – Bob Goodlatte (R) – 202 – 225 -5431
  • VA 08 – Don Beyer (D) – 202 – 225 – 4376
  • VA Senator Mark Warner – 202 – 224 – 2023

CMS requested comments on a pending quality measure dealing with pressure injury management in the Acute Care setting. The measure entitled “Hospital Harm – Hypoglycemia; Hospital Harm – Hospital Acquired Pressure Injury” deals with developing an electronic quality measure, for hospitals to account for hospital acquired pressure injury.

The Society has been hearing from members who are concerned with how providers and hospitals are being penalized by the outcomes of current quality measures on pressure injuries, despite providing quality care. The current measures do not adequately capture and track pressure injuries, and are resulting in both reduced data collection and quality of care. The Society’s comments in their entirety on these measures can be found by following the steps listed above. Link to the submitted responses/comments, by President Kelly Jaszarowski, on the 7 Questions asked by CMS related to this matter. In addition to official written comments submitted, the Society is planning an official face-to-face meeting with CMS Staff to express concerns and hopes that we can work with regulators to develop more adequate measures to track pressure injuries. This is what is happening at the National Level.

At the Maryland State Level, I contacted Delegate Terri Hill (D), who sits on the legislative committee for healthcare issues, and requested the top 3 healthcare issues facing the legislature. She named these:

  • Rising health insurance and prescription drug costs.
  • Opioid and other illicit drug use, drug overdose, addiction prevention/recognition/treatment.
  • Behavioral health treatment and support system inadequacies.

Learning remains on-going in this Representative position. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems. One and Done is NOT the norm! Issues can be broken down into pieces, & may be revisited for removal - piecemeal! We are fortunate to be part of a Professional Society that stays abreast of current issues, and advocates for our patients.