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About Us Advocacy Federal Advocacy Initiatives

Federal Advocacy Initiatives

Making an impact

Shaping health policy to advance your practice & improve patient care

Representing more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students, the AOA works to reduce regulatory burdens and improve affordability and access.

Through its National Osteopathic Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C., the AOA promotes policy advancements that benefit DOs and their patients, expand graduate medical training opportunities and promote public health. Our strategy encompasses policy development, lobbying on Capitol Hill, regulatory engagement, and engaging our members and affiliates in grassroots advocacy.

What we do

The AOA works to build relationships with policymakers at all levels of government and facilitate the direct voter-to-legislator communication that ultimately delivers the strongest message.

  • Federal Lobbying: We engage directly with lawmakers to advocate for policies that support the osteopathic profession.
  • Regulatory Advocacy: We study and evaluate regulatory proposals that could impact the profession, submit comments to federal agencies, and engage directly with federal agencies’ leadership to promote our goals.
  • Osteopathic Representation on Federal Advisory Committees and Panels: We regularly submit nominations and help create opportunities for DOs to share their unique perspective on federal advisory committees and panels.
  • Participation in Coalitions: Advocacy is most effective when large groups representing the same interests or point of view collaborate. We work with a wide range of partners in the health care field to amplify our voice.
  • Campaigns: The American Osteopathic Information Association supports the campaigns of candidates who will further our profession’s goals and values.

Federal Priority areas

Federal Priorities Image
View 2021 Federal Priorities

Advocacy at the federal level is crucial to promoting the osteopathic profession and translating our philosophy into policy.

Supporting Physicians and their Ability to Care for Patients

Support enactment of legislation that addresses physician burnout and wellness, and funds programs that support treatment and address suicide, substance use disorders, and mental health risk in the health care workforce.

  • Support policies that strengthen the financial stability of independent physician practices and assist in providing telehealth services to preserve patient access to high-quality physician-led care in all communities.

Strengthening the Physician Workforce Where it is Needed Most

  • Support enactment of legislation that increases the physician workforce through expanded student loan repayment programs and increased graduate medical education funding. This includes programs that facilitate the expansion of the physician workforce in rural and underserved communities, as well as in medical specialties of need.
  • Educate Congress on the importance of supporting physician-led care in all communities, and how federal public health programs improve physician shortages in underserved rural and urban communities.

 Access and Affordability

  • Promote patient choice and network adequacy to ensure patients have timely access to covered services, including specialty and subspecialty services, as well as parity for coverage and payment for mental health services.
  • Support enactment of legislation that alleviates arbitrary burdens in step therapy and prior authorization to improve patients’ access to prescription drugs and physician services.
  • Support enactment of legislation that expands access to services and prescription drugs that treat substance use disorder and manage chronic conditions.
  • Support enactment of legislation that promotes non-pharmacological pain management modalities, such as osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), funds research, and promotes greater access to substance use disorder treatment.

 Regulatory Reform

  • Support policies that address systemic issues and improve payment adequacy for medical services, reduce administrative burden, eliminate barriers to coverage and care, and strengthen the patient-physician relationship.
  • Support value-based arrangements that provide adequate reimbursement and greater flexibility in service delivery, particularly for physicians in solo and small group practices.
  • Support health information technology (HIT) policies that promote interoperability, reduce physician burden through improved data sharing and exchange capabilities, and make care delivery more efficient and seamless across the healthcare spectrum.

Public Health

  • Promote policies that reduce health disparities across ethnic, racial, geographic, socioeconomic, and other underserved populations, and address differences in disease burden and health outcomes.
  • Support policies that increase awareness and utilization of evidence-based vaccine guidelines for adults and pediatrics, address vaccine hesitancy, expand patient and physician education, and ensure adequate payment for the administration of vaccines.
  • Support policies and programs that reduce nicotine and tobacco use in any form, promote cessation in all populations, and support physician-led interventions.
  • Support the public health workforce and robust coordination among federal, state, and local health departments.

FY 2022 Federal Funding Priorities

  • Support funding to strengthen our public health infrastructure and workforce, improve pandemic preparedness and response, and facilitate greater support for osteopathic physician-researchers and osteopathic institutions.

Connect & get involved

Advocate on behalf of your profession and patients by staying up to date on public policy developments and opportunities to get involved in your community.

Osteopathic Advocacy Network (OAN)

The AOA is working on your behalf every day, but you are the best advocate for the osteopathic profession and your elected officials must hear from you. Your experience and knowledge can help guide your lawmakers to craft impactful legislation for you and your patients. Learn more.

  • The DO Engage
    AOA members receive The DO Engage newsletter detailing current legislative and regulatory activity, and updates on issues that affect our members.
  • Advocacy Action Alerts
    AOA members receive calls to action to stimulate grassroots engagement when legislative activity takes place that may significantly impact the profession.
  • DO Day on Capitol Hill
    Held each spring, this event serves as the osteopathic family’s premier opportunity to lobby Members of Congress on the issues that are most important to the practice of osteopathic medicine. Learn more.
  • Training in Policy Studies (TIPS) Program
    Training opportunities for osteopathic resident physicians in health policy to support their future engagement in advocacy and policy development on behalf of the profession. Learn more.
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