FHR representatives advocate at federal healthcare policy event

Published 07/21/2011

FHR members discuss Medicaid, deficit reduction plans, and the Nation’s Health IT System at Hill Day 2011

Hill Day 2011
Director of Clinical Services Pam Daisey attended Hill Day 2011.

Washington, D.C. – July 21, 2011 – Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR) staff members met with U.S. Senators and legislative aides at Hill Day 2011 on July 19-20. Pam Daisey, the Director of Clinical Services at FHR, along with FHR Chief Information Officer Vaughn Reid, and FHR Board Member Bill Emmet, met with legislative representatives from Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The National Council hosts this event each year as an opportunity for healthcare programs, participators, and providers to advocate and shed light on important healthcare issues. Reid had the opportunity to meet with President/CEO of The National Council, Linda Rosenberg, to discuss nonprofit views on the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. “Hill Day reinforces the need to make our elected officials aware of the issues facing their less vocal constituents. It’s important to make them cognizant of the reality that we are taking note of the way they vote on crucial issues,” Reid says.

Plans to cut Medicaid were highly discussed at all meetings during two days of workshops and forums. “Deficit reduction plans from many Senators include cuts in Medicaid,” Daisey says. “Senator Reed from Rhode Island explained to us that even though he’s dedicated to maintaining the current Medicaid benefits, he feels a cut is inevitable to address the deficit.”

Each Senator or legislative staff member that the FHR representatives met with discussed their Medicaid standpoint along with discussing their views on various healthcare bills.

“We want mental health and addiction treatment providers to be incorporated into the Nation’s Health IT System,” Daisey says. “The HITECH Act proposing this addendum would improve all clinical health care systems for behavioral health agencies. If state officials expand the definition of eligible providers to include licensed clinicians, certified addiction counselors, and behavioral healthcare facilities, funding would become more available to improve electronic medical records.”

RI Senator Reed is a co-sponsor of the HITECH Act and wants to include Behavioral Health (S. 539). “Reed said he feels that further discussion on this topic, however, will not occur until the debates about deficit reduction is resolved,” Daisey says.

Reid, Emmet, and Daisey all felt as though the issues discussed at Hill Day 2011 were enlightening and beneficial. “We could share stories and give a voice to the individuals that we serve at FHR,” Daisey says. “It’s important to make law-makers aware of the potential impact they have on the clientele that we serve."

For more information about Hill Day 2011, visit www.thenationalcouncil.org.