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News & Press: Advocacy and Policy

Latest Issue of WOCN Society In Action--Public Policy & Advocacy Newsletter

Friday, July 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristin Petty
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The WOCN® Society In Action is a members-only public policy and advocacy newsletter that highlights the most pressing issues related to the WOC practice and the Society's advocacy efforts.
The Home Health Care
Planning Improvement Act
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 296), was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate. In the House a companion bill (H.R. 2150) was introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Mike Kelly (R-PA). The legislation would authorize nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants to certify home healthcare services for their Medicare patients. Take action now! Click here to learn more.  
Lymphedema Treatment Act
Unfortunately, the 115th Session of Congress ended without passage of The Lymphedema Treatment Act. The bill received 366 co-sponsors in the House and 66 co-sponsors in the Senate. On February 14, 2019, The Lymphedema Treatment Act (S.518) was reintroduced in the Senate by Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Todd Young (R-IN). They were joined by 31 original co-sponsors. The House bill (H.R. 1948) has also been reintroduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). The former House champion, Rep. Dave Reichert, retired last year, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky has been one of the co-leads for the past four years. The House and Senate Bill have been reintroduced. Take action now! Click here to learn more.
Regional and Affiliates Grassroots Taskforce
In response to membership requests, the advocacy team has begun work on revamping our advocacy outreach to WOCN region and affiliates. In order to accomplish this goal, we have created three regional and affiliate taskforce groups to complete various objectives.
Click here to learn more.
The Nursing Community Coalition
The WOCN Society is a member of the Nursing Community Coalition which consists of 58 national nursing organizations committed to improving the health and health care of our nation by collaborating to support Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Collectively, the NC represents over one million RNs, APRNs, nurse researchers, nurse faculty, and nursing students. In the past quarter the Nursing Community has provided comments and updates on several issues.  
Click here to learn more.
Access & Care Coalition
The WOCN Society is a member of the Access & Care Coalition. The mission of the Coalition is to counter restricted consumer access to medical supplies under Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. The Access & Care Coalition consists of urological and ostomy medical technology suppliers and manufacturers, as well as clinician, physician, and consumer and disability advocates. The Coalition will take action on health policy matters that:
  • Are in the best interests of high-quality care that maximize function and independent living for people with disabilities; and
  • Can provide people with disabilities with their choice of, and access to, the prescribed and medically appropriate urological and ostomy medical technology and supplies
Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders
In addition to the efforts taken on by the Society, we have also enjoyed success through our membership in the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders (The Alliance). The Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders is a nonprofit multidisciplinary trade association of physician medical specialty societies and clinical associations whose mission is to promote quality care and access to products and services for people with wounds through effective advocacy and educational outreach in the regulatory, legislative and public arenas. Through the Alliance, the WOCN Society is able to comment and follow government regulations on multiple fronts and directly impact policy decisions.   Click here to learn more. 

Medicare Competitive Bidding
To date, the Trump Administration has not continued to pursue the expansion of the CB program. It would take new legislation from Congress in order to include urologic and ostomy in the CB program. The WOCN Society has created an evidence-based policy paper which focuses on the impact of competitive bidding and access to care and supplies that will be ready for use if the program does move forward. WOCN staff met with CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Demetrios Kouzoukas late last year to express our concerns with including ostomy products in the CB program. The meeting was organized by the Access & Care Coalition, of which the WOCN Society is a member. Dep. Administrator Kouzoukas stated that ostomy and urologic supplies were not under immediate consideration for inclusion in the CB program.  
WOCNCB® Advocacy Collaboration
On June 8- June 9 Kate Lawrence joined the Wound, Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) in Washington, DC for their Government Relations Committee meeting. During the meeting, Kate presented WOCN’s public policy priorities and activities in an effort to find joint opportunities for the two organizations to work together to fulfill shared goals. The group then attended an advocacy training session at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, followed by a trip to Capitol Hill for meetings with members of the U.S. Senate.
If you have questions regarding any of these issues, please contact:
Chris Rorick, MPH
Director of Government Relations
+1 202-508-6354
Kate Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN
WOCN Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

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