DETERMINED GROUP DESCENDS ON TALLAHASSEE FOR FLORIDA KIDNEY DAY!
On February 7th, 2017, a dedicated and spirited group of determined individuals kicked off the annual, “Florida Kidney Day at the Capitol”. On tap the first day was the End Stage Renal Disease advisory meeting with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Approximately two dozen participants filed into the Agency to meet with the Program Administrator for the Bureau of Medicaid Policy, and several other AHCA officials to discuss an agenda formulated by the Florida Renal Administrators Public and Legislative Policy committee, Chaired by Bob Loeper. Topics included; Medicaid eligibility, transportation issues, medical specialty shelters, managed care provider concerns, 3rd party payer prohibitions, and reimbursement for services. The advisory committee was established to open the lines of communication with ACHA and bring forth the Industry’s concerns directly to the decision makers. This was the 12th year of its existence and it certainly has paid many dividends to our members stated Chairman “Bob Loeper”. “It has served as a sounding board for our members and has led to the resolution of many problems confronting our providers and patients throughout Florida”.
Following the advisory meeting the participants dined at the Stay Bridge Hotel where agenda materials and meeting appointment times with legislators were distributed. Amy Kozuch the 2016-2018 President of the Florida Renal Administrators Association along with Ron Watson incoming Association lobbyist placed everyone into different teams and provided them with their assigned legislative appointments. This year the task was daunting as there were 47 new House of Representative members and 20 new Senators.
The next day participants assembled early in the Rotunda of the Capitol where the Florida Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation had set up an excellent display with informational packets for everyone entering the Capitol. The teams then fanned out throughout the Capitol to meet with the Legislators and Senators that serve on the substantive committees that handle our issues. All 20 House Health related committee members and 6 Senate members who serve on the Health Policy committee were visited plus all new legislators received materials. In addition, Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) hosted the entire group in the Minority Office meeting room to welcome us. Meetings continued throughout the day only interrupted by a great buffet lunch that had been coordinated by FRAA Treasurer Candy Magiera and President Kozuch.
I would like to thank those companies that assisted in underwriting the cost of the lunch and this year’s activities at the Capitol. They were: Fresenius Medical Care, Fresenius Vascular Centers, Davita, Dialysze Direct, Specialty Physician Partners and Patient Care America. In addition I want to personally thank President Amy Kozuch and the Board of directors and my longtime friend and associate Ron Watson for his efforts in making this year’s Florida Kidney Day a resounding success. Please visit the Florida Renal administrator’s website for pictures of the event and further updates.