Alliance of Specialty Medicine Fly-In Meeting Results in Practice Visit from Congressman

Last week, Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) spent some time at the Eye Specialty Group in Memphis at the invitation of ASOA Board Member-at-Large Thomas Brown, JD, COE. Rep. Kustoff and Mr. Brown became acquainted in July on Capitol Hill at the Alliance of Specialty Medicine’s annual Legislative Fly-In, during which ASCRS and ASOA members met with legislators from their home states and districts to lobby for key policy priorities, such as preserving a Medicare Part B fee-for-service option.

As any effective advocate would, during the Fly-In, Brown invited Rep. Kustoff to visit the Eye Specialty Group to see for himself an ophthalmology practice in action—as well as how policies and regulations can affect doctors, staff, and patients.

During his visit to the practice, Rep. Kustoff visited with the doctors during the last 20 minutes of the monthly doctors’ meeting. He gave a general update on events in Washington and then answered some questions the doctors had about the cost of prescription drugs and the struggles physicians experience balancing patient needs with the realities of third-party payer demands. “He invited everyone to visit Washington and encouraged the doctors to participate in events like the Alliance of Specialty Medicine Fly-In,” said Brown, who added that “The Congressman and I talked again after the meeting. He listened and is interested in coming back for a round table discussion.”

Brown 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 Thomas Brown and become an eyeContact, please contact Tami O’Brien, manager of PAC and grassroots, at tobrien@ascrs.org.