The Radiology Partners (RP) advocacy physician support board traveled to Washington, D.C., for meetings with congressional members and legislative assistants to advocate for our specialty and our patients.
“Hill Day is our opportunity to meet with congressional members about how their decisions impact our local practices,” said Dr. Rich Heller, pediatric radiologist and associate chief medical officer (ACMO) for health policy and communications. “Advocacy without data is just opinion. We’re not bringing them opinion—we’re bringing them data. We’re telling them what’s happening within radiology and healthcare more broadly, and they’re listening.”
Members of RP’s advocacy support board are practicing radiologists who bring unique perspectives to their cohort. They represent a variety of subspecialties and practice remotely and onsite in different areas of the country, and all are aligned on efforts to advocate for radiology’s role in the broader U.S. healthcare system.
The group is focused on connecting with politicians to provide information and education about the scope of issues providers face in today’s healthcare environment. Dr. Sarah Avery, breast imaging radiologist, elaborated: “We were discussing some of the challenges associated with the federal No Surprises Act independent dispute resolution process. I think that’s a really great opportunity for RP to present real data at a national level.”
Dr. Anne Giuliano, diagnostic teleradiologist, agreed RP can provide a unique perspective on what’s happening across the specialty. “It’s a chance to talk to different lawmakers who don’t have as deep of knowledge of the impacts of the No Surprises Act, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule impact table and issues impacting the workforce,” Dr. Giuliano said. She referenced the stark difference between the annual rate of new radiologists joining the workforce is declining compared to tremendous increasing demands of imaging volumes.
Dr. David Axelrod, interventional radiologist, said he thought it was refreshing to get involved and work to support radiologists at this level. “Hill Day allows us to demonstrate how policies affect our ability to treat patients. It brings to light the unique issues that private practice radiology must voice.”
The support board members are encouraged by the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and the conversations that occurred. Dr. Heller said, “They want to hear what we have to say. It shows us that we are making a difference on behalf of Radiology Partners, on behalf of our specialty, and most importantly, on behalf of the patients that we get to take care of.”
The advocacy physician support board is one of several across RP where our practicing radiologists are encouraged to get involved. The aim for physician support boards is to ensure radiologists provide guidance and influence on support functions that directly impact RP.
Outside of Hill Day, the advocacy physician support board works to involve physicians and support teammates in their efforts, organizing calls to action to contact representatives about specific issues that impact radiology and patients. Dr. Avery said, “Advocacy makes a difference for radiology in general and the ability of my practice to provide the best clinical care. When I became aware of the advocacy physician support board, it was just a natural fit for me to want to be involved.”
Dr. Axelrod agreed. “I’ve been involved in the advocacy process since medical school. When I saw Radiology Partners had its own support board and was seeking volunteers, I volunteered.”
Dr. Giuliano is thankful for the opportunity the physicians support board provides to connect with other radiologists interested in the cause. “It’s hard for one single person to do it by yourself. It takes a community of a lot of different people coming together to get it done. That just takes time.”
Radiology Partners, through its owned and affiliated practices, is a leading physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. Learn more about our mission, values and practice principles at RadPartners.com. For the latest news from RP, follow along on our blog and on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Interested in learning about career opportunities? Visit our careers page.