News & Advocacy
Rheumatology Advocates Take Action in Columbus
posted: November 2, 2023
On October 25, the Ohio Association of Rheumatology held its 2023 Advocacy Day in Columbus. This event brings together physicians and patient advocates to meet with state policymakers and advocate for policies that promote access to all appropriate treatments for rheumatic diseases.
This year’s Advocacy Day focused on three key issues:
OAR 2023 Advocacy Day Participants
Mohammed A. Abusamieh, MD, FACR
Arthritis Associates of NW Ohio
Gary M. Kammer, MD
Lake Health Physician Group Arthritis Associates
Kendra R. Lauer, DO
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Stephanie J. Ott, MD, MWRA, FACR, FACP
Elisabeth S. Roter, MD
On the day of the event, participants met with elected officials and their staff in the Riffe Building, just across the street from the historic Statehouse. Importantly, the policymakers with whom advocates met were members of the legislative committees that are currently considering the key issues. During more than 10 meetings, rheumatologists and valued partners shared personal stories and experiences about the importance of the issues at hand. They also explained how the proposed policies would benefit patients and chip away at ever-increasing administrative burdens.
Representatives of both parties expressed general support for rheumatology’s positions, recognizing that insurers far too often interfere with and impair patient-centered care. Indeed, many were hard pressed to understand how and why payers are allowed to alter a patient’s prescription or ‘double dip’ when it comes to their cost sharing requirements.
Each of the bills is progressing through the legislative process. OAR members and supporters fund initiatives to achieve success in this realm, including the hiring of lobbyists who are well known and respected throughout the Halls of Power.
Overall, the 2023 Advocacy Day was a success. Rheumatologists and patient advocates had the opportunity to meet with elected officials and advocate for important issues. The association also built relationships with elected officials and their staff, which is essential to ensuring that the rheumatology ecosystem is well-represented in the political process.