On Wednesday, ASCRS member Brian Smith, MD, met with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) outside Chicago to deliver a campaign contribution on behalf of eyePAC, the non-partisan political action committee representing ASCRS members. The meeting was a follow-up to ASCRS’ participation in a fundraising event for Rep. Roskam in Washington, D.C., during last month’s Alliance of Specialty Medicine Legislative Fly-In. ASCRS and the Alliance have been working closely with Rep. Roskam on ways to reduce the regulatory burden on physicians.
Rep. Roskam, who chairs the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, visited Dr. Smith at his practice, the Smith-Perry Eye Center, in Hinsdale, Illinois. During their meeting, they discussed the importance of preserving a viable Medicare fee-for-service payment option, since there are no ophthalmology-specific Alternative Payment Models (APMs) available at this time, as well as maintaining the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for quality reporting. In addition, they talked about other issues, such as the need for Congress to address various barriers to specialty care, including prior authorization and step therapy.
Dr. Smith described the meeting as “delightful,” and added that Rep. Roskam “does understand the plight of specialty medicine.” He learned that the Congressman has a number of family members who are physicians, including several specialists, and thinks he is “clearly on our side.” During the visit, Dr. Smith also discovered that his own mother, who practiced ophthalmology for about 50 years in Hinsdale, had treated Rep. Roskam’s brother when he was a child.
Dr. Smith is a member of the growing ASCRS eyeContact volunteer advocacy program. ASCRS•ASOA eyeContacts are engaged with elected officials in their communities. Whether it be discussing issues with their Senator while hand-delivering an eyePAC check on behalf of the society, inviting their Representative to visit their practice, hosting a fundraiser for a key candidate, or simply responding to an ASCRS grassroots action alert, eyeContacts are active to the extent that suits their availability and comfort level.
If you would like to join members like Dr. Smith and become an eyeContact, please contact Tami O’Brien, manager of PAC and grassroots, at email@example.com.