COVID-19: Grassroots Advocacy Tools
The latest federal AAFP communications on COVID-19:
- March 2 – AAFP letter(2 page PDF) to HHS Secretary Alex Azar
- March 5 – AAFP statement applauding coronavirus spending package; urging coordination
- March 10 – AAFP letter(2 page PDF) to the White House's Coronavirus Taskforce
- March 10 – Getting Paid blog on new telehealth rules and procedures for testing
- March 11 – AAFP letter(1 page PDF) to Congress urging coordination
- March 11 – AAFP News article on new COVID-19 member resources
- March 13 – AAFP letter(4 page PDF) to Congress on COVID-19 priorities
- March 17 – AAFP letter(4 page PDF) to the White House Coronavirus Task Force on COVID-19 priorities
- March 17 – Group of Six(4 page PDF) statement recommending further coordination to address COVID-19
- March 18 – AAFP Government Relations summary(1 page PDF) of the Families First Coronavirus Reponse Act
- March 18 – AAFP letter(1 page PDF) to CMS MIPS recommendations due to COVID-19
- March 19 – AAFP letter(4 page PDF) to House and Senate leadership on COVID-19 legislative priorities
- March 20 – Joint letter(2 page PDF) to Congress with other primary care organizations outlining provisions needed to specifically support and sustain physicians
- March 25 – AAFP letter(1 page PDF) to the FDA on REMS flexibility for telehealth
- March 26 – AAFP letter(2 page PDF) to CMS asking for inclusion of telehealth codes into Medicare Program
- March 30 – AAFP summary(5 page PDF) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Keep Engaging Federal Policymakers on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act(www.documentcloud.org) — which passed the Senate March 25, ahead of an expected March 27 House vote — includes $1.32 billion in supplemental community health center funding and permission for federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services during this emergency, among other provisions that reflect AAFP advocacy.
The legislation also earmarks $100 billion for hospitals and physicians, and the Academy's Government Relations Division remains in constant contact with congressional offices as further stimulus and assistance measures are discussed.
The AAFP also encourages members to continue talking directly to their elected officials.
To help you engage directly, we have built a toolkit with essential information for informing federal policymakers and advocating directly for your needs. Hearing from family physicians working at the front lines of this crisis will inform their decisions and result in policies more likely to help you and your patients.
Ways to Get Involved
Visit your member of Congress’ webpage to receive updates
Find your elected official(www.usa.gov) and visit their webpage to sign up for email alerts.
Participate in a town hall
Many Members of Congress will be holding virtual town halls and are eager to hear from constituents but especially medical professionals. Consider attending and using these talking points developed for AAFP members(1 page PDF) to raise your concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on family physicians and your patients. To learn about these opportunities, visit your member of Congress’ webpage and sign up for email alerts.
AAFP members: send a Speak Out letter
The Speak Out tool allows you to send a pre-crafted message urging members of Congress to increase testing, improve coordination efforts with America’s frontline physicians, and support essentials protocols in the nation's healthcare response.
Follow and engage with elected officials and public health leaders on social media
Policymakers are increasingly sharing local updates via social media. We urge you to use this as a resource for important updates.
Family physicians are on the #frontline of the #CoronavirusPandemic - we need supplies and we need answers asap! @POTUS @realDonaldTrump @Mike_Pence @VP @senatemajldr @SenSchumer @SpeakerPelosi @GOPLeader
Stay updated on state policy
- requiring insurers to waive copays and other out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 testing;
- establishing special enrollment periods for state-based exchanges; and
- changing Medicaid policies to allow for reimbursement on home visits, virtual consultations, and allowing higher quantity pharmacy refills to limit visits.
To learn more about what’s happening in your state, contact view our COVID-19 tracker(services.statescape.com).
The Center for State Policy has also created a (3 page PDF)backgrounder which provides policy options for states to address COVID-19 that would be helpful to family physicians and the patients they serve.
For any questions regarding state advocacy during the COVID-19 pandemic contact the Center for State Policy or your Chapter Executive.
Be a resource
Policymakers want to hear from you!
They are currently organizing forums to better understand how to address our nation’s health care needs. Please call or email your representative and offer to be a resource on health care issues.
Follow AAFP Government Relations staff on Twitter*
- Shawn Martin - @rshawnm(twitter.com)
- Julie Wood, MD, FAAFP - @juliekwoodmd(www.twitter.com)
- Steven Waldren, MD, MS - @techydoc(www.twitter.com)
- Teresa Baker - @treebaa(www.twitter.com)
- Erica Cischke - @ericagracet(www.twitter.com)
*Note: these are personal accounts and do not represent official communications from the AAFP
Want to share your account of what is occurring in your community or practice?
Tap into the AAFP’s member resources
The AAFP will continue sharing up-to-the minute updates on organizational activities.