Patient Choice Act Brochure

Background and Genesis: At the beginning of 2016, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) Advocacy steering committee met with Agentis Management to discuss building a grassroots plan. As an organization, ADA has been pursuing a modification of Title 18 of the Federal code to amend Medicare and allow direct patient access to audiologists, authorize Medicare to reimburse audiologists for their rehabilitative services, and recognize audiologists as limited license physicians. To that end, the current strategy focused on legislative meetings with our partners in Washington DC, as well as a “Fly-In” meeting in November of 2015. Based upon the feedback we received from these meetings, it was decided that developing a broad base of grassroots engagement would help support our message on the Hill. The legislators didn’t want to just hear from lobbyists and associations, but their individual constituents—especially the Medicare patients that would be most affected by the legislation.

Development: Our Government Affairs Coordinator and Web Developer worked together to design a pamphlet directed specifically towards the Medicare-eligible patients that visited our ADA members that worked in private practice. The ideal pamphlet resembled, by no accident, a political flier of the kind commonly distributed door-to-door during election season. The goals of the pamphlet were three fold:

  1. Inform patients about the legislation, in general terms
  2. Demonstrate the impact that the legislation would have on their lives (especially the financial impact)
  3. Direct patients to the companion ThinkAboutYourEars.com website for action.
Staff developed the look of the brochures as well as solicited bids from vendors for printing and shipping.


                       


Pilot: ADA and Agentis worked with our lobbying partners in Washington DC, Prime Policy Group, to identify specific congressional districts we wished to target. From there, our membership coordinator ran reports of our members in those districts that were contacted to gauge interest in the project. Over 60 members responded to our initial request. We distributed the first batch of brochures with the request that members keep us apprised of the impact that the brochures had with patients, as well as any best practices we should be aware of. We paired the initial distribution with a robust social media campaign to support the initiative.

Expansion: As word of mouth spread, ADA and Agentis began to receive even more requests for brochures. As Agentis staff attends conferences on behalf of ADA, we bring example brochures with us that never fail to grab people’s attention. The program is scalable, from the very targeted individual distribution base of member requests and congressional districts, all the way up to the entire membership, as necessary.