By Dina Halegoua-De Marzio, MD, Member, AASLD Training and Workforce Committee Meeting
On March 29, I boarded a train from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station to Washington D.C.’ s Union Station to attend AASLD’s Ninth Annual Liver Capitol Hill Day (LCHD). LCHD is a partnership of AASLD and seven groups: Caring Ambassadors, Hepatitis B Foundation, American Liver Foundation, Community Liver Alliance, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Alpha 1 Foundation, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. In addition to AASLD members and representatives of these patient groups, many AASLD members were accompanied by one of their patients. This event presents a unique opportunity for AASLD members to interact with and educate legislators about important issues that directly affect our practice and the care of our patients. It is also an opportunity to work directly with AASLD leadership and the leadership of patient advocacy groups.
This was my first time attending the event. On the morning of the event we took part in a training session and review of the issues identified by AASLD’s Public and Clinical Policy Committee that we would discuss in legislative meetings later that day. Groups were arranged to have a mix of patients and healthcare professionals, and geographically. We then boarded buses and headed to Capitol Hill for our meetings.
The important leave behinds for the day included:
- Urge CMS to undertake the research needed to accurately value Evaluation & Management Codes
- Support Affordable Care Act alternatives that protect and improve patient access to care
- Support critical funding for liver research and services
- Support the Living Donor Protection Act (HR 1270)
For more information on these topics, click here
As a first time attendee of LCHD, I was unsure what to expect. However, I walked away from the day feeling revived and energized. I was extremely proud to call myself a hepatologist and a member of AASLD after hearing my colleagues and our patients speak on these important issues. I highly recommend taking part in this in the future if you have the opportunity.