Visit Iva Clement's office on any given day and you might find her monitoring legislative activity on Capitol Hill or a state house regarding health care, talking with lobbyists and legislators to advocate on behalf of SCP, working with national organizations to influence legislation, or preparing monthly reports to communicate the current state of governmental affairs with SCP providers and leaders.
The reason? Clement is Vice President of Governmental Affairs at Schumacher Clinical Partners. It's her job to keep a finger on the pulse of legislative activity in Washington D.C. and every state capital across the U.S.
“SCP actively advocates on behalf of physicians, hospitals, and patients in the regulatory arena to ensure delivery of care isn't hampered by onerous laws and regulations that bring no additional quality to the patient encounter,” Clement said.
SCP Advocacy History
Advocating on behalf of the health care industry, particularly as it relates to EM and HM clinical practice, is something SCP has had a stake in since its inception.
"In the early years, SCP advocacy was mostly at a federal level," Clement said. "State-level activity was reliant on individual physicians who served within state ACEP or AMA chapters and, later, with our membership in the Emergency Department Practice Management Association (EDPMA).”
SCP's advocacy efforts have proven quite fruitful, according to Clement.
"All told, SCP has been a founding member of EDPMA, state organizations such as Medicine LA, Texas Emergency Physician Association, and the Florida Emergency Physician Association, and, more recently, Physicians for Fair Coverage (PFC), a group spearheaded by SCP’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Dr. Schumacher," she said.
Partnership with National Associations
As head of governmental affairs, Clement works in partnership with three associations, primarily: ACEP, EDPMA, and PFC.
"I serve on the ACEP Out of Network (OON) and Public Affairs subcommittees of the Joint Task Force," she said. "Our participation within the ACEP organization brings SCP value by way of access to, and involvement in, activities that will impact the practice of EM."
EDPMA, a national organization created to deal the with business practices of emergency medicine, monitors and responds to state legislative activity regarding out of network, among other things. Currently, EDPMA is monitoring and engaging legislators and regulators on balance billing and OON.
"I am actively involved in the State Regulatory and Insurance Committee, which deals with issues associated with insurance legislation and regulation and payor behavior and issues concerning state Medicaid," Clement said. "I was also a member of the contingent that met recently with United Healthcare on policy changes in coding."
PFC focuses solely on OON issues at state and federal levels, with the majority of work done with the states. In less than a year, PFC has adopted model legislation as a solution to OON concerns and has developed a legislative strategy to proactively promote fair reimbursement methodology.
"Through our leadership roles in these organizations and our company efforts with state legislatures and regulators, we are integral in the development of strategies that affect the EM industry," Clement said. "Together we bring a meaningful presence to legislators and regulators."
Monthly Governmental Affairs Updates
Each month, Clement prepares a report — the Governmental Affairs Update — that highlights the latest activity taking place on Capitol Hill and in state legislative bodies, to keep SCP providers and employees in the loop.
The most recent update, from March, addressed issues ranging from President Trump's budget proposal to lawmakers’ efforts to repeal ACA to Senator Bill Cassidy's (R-LA) reintroduction of the MAC Act designed to improve Medicaid financing — and those are but a few of many issues Clement watches and communicates via the report.
“Issues included in the update are time-sensitive, so response time is often short,” Clement said. “You can't plan for when legislators will call up a bill. I might have just two days to get my doctors rallied around an issue, contact legislators, and so forth. We have to strike while the iron's hot."
How Our Providers Can Help
Although Clement has many resources at her disposal, she lacks the necessary personnel to keep track of everything happening legislatively in every state. For that, she relies on doctors and operations staff who have an interest in governmental affairs.
“It’s helpful to have other eyes and ears paying attention to what's happening on the ground in their respective states,” Clement said. "I'd rather get something five or six times from different parties rather than not hear about it at all.”
The company’s provider portal provides a quick and easy way for SCP providers to make their voice heard. The “TAKE ACTION” feature puts current issues at their fingertips, enabling providers to monitor current legislation affecting EM and HM clinical practice, patients, and hospital systems and impact these issues with a click of a mouse.
To learn more about Schumacher Clinical Partners’ advocacy involvement, click here.