Washington, D.C.—Good morning, ProviderNation. You know the old joke, that if “con” is the opposite of “pro,” then is the opposite of “progress”—“Congress?”
Dry your eyes (I gotta million of ’em). Because, as AHCA/NCAL’s inestimable Drew Thies points out, Congress is going to be a hot spot this month. The federal budget expires Sept. 30, and, there are some, um, complications to getting a new one done, Thies says:
“There are only 12 legislative days this month when both chambers are in, and schedules are crowded with everything from the papal visit to the contentious Iran deal.
“Making negotiations even more tense are a group of conservative Republicans who are pushing for a showdown over federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle are hoping to avoid a government shutdown similar to the one in fall 2013, but nothing is off the table.”
Overall, provider advocates have already had a great year in Washington, what with the doc fix and the NOTICE and IMPACT Acts and all. But advocates hear “nothing off the table” a lot differently than you or me. So the watchwords around AHCA/NCAL world headquarters these days is “semper vigilans,” super-lobbyist Clif Porter tells Your Humble Correspondent.
“We’ve had some great early victories this year,” Porter says, “and we’re really pleased that our constructive approach to Congress has created some much-needed space and even friendships on the Hill. But you never rest in Washington. So we’ll be watching the budget battles closely.”
Speaking of the fine folks at AHCA/NCAL (et vigilans), mad props to Caroline Haarman, who has just been appointed chair of the Partnership for Medicaid’s Policy Committee. The partnership is a coalition of 23 groups that represent those providers who rely on Medicaid—the only such industry group of its kind. Haarman’s mission is to help the group look after the least, the lost, and the last.
Golly, and to think we knew her when she was just a senior director for Medicaid policy at some trade association.
AE Is Ready For Their Close-Up, Mr. Chianese
In other news, the fine folks at Advancing Excellence are hosting a world premier right here in the Capital next week. AE has cut nine videos starring Dominic Chianese (best known, of course, for his role as George Mallick in the 1976 “Kojak” episode, “A Hair-Trigger Away”), and Alice Bonner (best known, of course, for her role as secretary of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Elder Affairs). There’s even a cameo by a managing editor of a certain long term and post-acute care magazine.
AE is using the videos to promote its nine quality goals.
Anyway, if you’re passing through the nation’s capital on Monday the 21st (and really, where else would you rather be?), swing by Forest Hills on Connecticut Avenue NW, or drop a line to indefatigable event organizer Carol Scott.