Every day, AHA seeks to ensure that the needs and concerns of patients and the nation’s hospitals and health systems are heard and addressed by lawmakers and regulators, in the courts and in the media.
For more on how we’ve been working for you this year, please see the enclosure listing just some of our accomplishments in 2016.
A Strong Voice for Hospitals and Health Systems. Every day, AHA staff take to Capitol Hill to tell the hospital story, working to educate Congress on key issues and the field’s concerns. We also advocate with federal regulators, provide expert testimony, and highlight the impact proposed changes could have and suggest alternative solutions. In addition, AHA provides resources to help you better tell your story to your elected officials through our grassroots alerts, alliances, briefings and toolkits.
An essential element of our advocacy is our strong partnership with the state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations. By working together, we present a strong, unified voice for patients and hospitals, amplifying our message in Washington and capitol buildings across the country.
Grassroots Advocacy. AHA regularly alerts members to tell their stories and share the impact of potential legislative or regulatory changes on their hospitals, patients and community.
In addition, at critical flashpoints throughout the year, we convene members in Washington, D.C., to take the field’s message directly to their legislators on Capitol Hill. These Advocacy Days provide opportunities for legislators and their staffs to hear firsthand the real- world impact of proposals under consideration. They also help hospital and health system leaders build
and nurture these valuable relationships. In addition, AHA sponsors briefings throughout the year for congressional staff on hospital issues.
Advocacy Alliances. Our alliances provide members with another way for hospital and health system leaders to engage legislators on the specific issue or issues that have a direct impact on their ability to continue providing quality health care services in their communities. Activities include special briefings and emails to keep members up to date on key developments, special breakout sessions at Advocacy Days, direct member outreach and other issue-specific resources. Current alliances focus on rural health care, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, graduate medical education and coordinated care.
The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care. The Coalition, of which AHA is a founding member, is a recognized leader in digital advocacy. Through social and digital media, it has created a community of close to 1.3 million individuals who advocate directly with Congress on behalf of patients and hospitals. Highlights include:
- Close to 1.3 million supporters mobilized through digital media and traditional advertising
- Ads were viewed more than 1.8 billion times online
- Close to 1.5 million people connect each week on social media alone
- The Coalition generated nearly 600,000 contacts with members of Congress during recent legislative activity
- Two years in a row, the Coalition took top honors for Digital
Campaign Advocacy from Modern Healthcare’s Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards For more, visit www.protecthealthcare.org.
AHAPAC. AHAPAC allows eligible hospital leaders to make voluntary donations toward the support of federal candidates of both political parties who support the hospital policy agenda. AHAPAC is bipartisan, working with state hospital associations and others. AHAPAC has raised more than $4 million for the 2016 elections and made over 1,000 different contributions.
Governance and Policy-making. Through participation in our formal governance groups – such as the Board of Trustees, Regional Policy Boards, Governing Councils and committees – and various strategic leadership groups, members play an active role in shaping the association and its policies – ensuring the patient voice is heard at every turn. In addition, throughout the year, AHA convenes special membership groups in person, via webinar or phone to provide input on legislative and regulatory proposals to inform our strategy. For more on how to be involved, visit www.aha.org/value.
Telling the Hospital Story. As the national voice for hospitals and health systems, AHA uses a wide range of strategies to share how hospitals are helping their communities. In national and local news, social media, print, television and radio, AHA advocates for members and the patients they serve. AHA also equips members with tools and strategies to help respond to media inquiries on difficult and challenging issues. In addition, through innovative digital campaigns like “My Hospital: Advancing Health in America” (www.advancinghealthinamerica.org), we’re taking the field’s message straight to patients and caregivers.