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    MGMA Government Affairs
    MGMA Government Affairs
    Members of Congress return home for district work periods in their local offices, commonly called recess, throughout the year. The longest scheduled recess on the congressional calendar is the August recess, allowing members of Congress to spend more time in their home districts ahead of the November general election.

    Recess is a great opportunity for medical group executives to connect with their representatives through many outlets. Whether setting up an in-person meeting at their district office, organizing a tour of your practice facilities or attending a district town hall meeting, MGMA encourages members to use this time to call attention to issues that are important to the medical group community.

    Grassroots advocacy can be one of the most influential political advocacy tools for organizations. The goal of grassroots initiatives is to engage the public to bring issues to the attention of lawmakers and government officials. Traditional lobbying, which brings arguments for or against a policy directly to lawmakers, remains an effective tool, but grassroot advocacy is an on-the-ground connection between members of Congress and their constituents.

    MGMA developed an Advocacy 101 toolkit to help members cultivate relationships with their congressional representatives. The toolkit is composed of tips on effective communication, information on how to coordinate a congressional site visit to a medical group practice, recommendations for coordinating visits to local district offices and talking points on policy issues important to MGMA members.

    Policy priorities

    There’s a long list of challenges and opportunities in healthcare, so prioritizing specific issue areas is crucial to keeping the conversation focused and for overall success in any advocacy campaign. Current MGMA advocacy priorities are centered on reducing unnecessary government regulations and improving the regulatory landscape for group practices by simplifying quality reporting requirements, streamlining documentation requirements, standardizing transactions and modernizing outdated fraud and abuse laws.

    MGMA’s Advocacy Statements and Letters archive can provide members with information regarding our position on key policy issues and help organize messaging. We encourage members to use these resources directly or pull quotations from them to incorporate into your message.

    There are a variety of ways MGMA members can advocate on behalf of the medical group community at the grassroots level.

    Host a site visit

    Visits by legislators to a medical group’s office can be an effective grassroots tool. By inviting legislators to visit a practice, MGMA members have the unique opportunity to show them how government actions affect the healthcare industry. What’s more, these visits can help establish a vital relationship with the lawmaker and his or her staff, which is a keystone to successful advocacy. Members of Congress may be familiar with certain healthcare issues, but it is important for them to hear from healthcare providers and administrators about key issues such as the burden of quality reporting and the importance of administrative simplification.

    Schedule a district office meeting

    Take advantage of congressional recess periods and reach out to congressional representatives or their staff to schedule a meeting to discuss specific issues or legislative priorities. Remember that it may be difficult to schedule a meeting with your member of Congress, but meeting with a member of their staff who specializes in healthcare can be just as productive and can start a dialogue with the representative’s office. Contact the representative’s scheduler, either in their Washington, D.C., office or home district office, to request to meet directly with a health legislative assistant and the member, if available.

    Effective methods for communicating with Congress

    As you consider ways to engage with their representatives, MGMA Government Affairs staff have some recommendations for effective engagement:
    • When discussing a particular issue, humanize it and explain how the issue affects people and the community. Use personal stories and perspectives to support the basis for your argument.
    • Offer to serve as a resource to provide expertise and perspective on healthcare issues that matter to your representative. Building a two-way relationship can establish a meaningful and valuable rapport.
    • The ultimate goal should be to build a lasting relationship with the lawmaker. Be courteous, polite and prepared. Keep financial or political support out of the conversation.

    Share your story

    Finally, MGMA Government Affairs would like to hear about MGMA member experiences with grassroots efforts. Whether through a tour of medical group practice facilities, a district site visit or letter-writing campaign, please share accounts of the successes and challenges faced by emailing the MGMA Government Affairs office. 

    Contact MGMA Government Affairs at

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