American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Advocacy

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Advocacy at the federal, state and local levels is crucial to promoting the osteopathic profession and translating our philosophy into policy. The AOA's strategy involves 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.

  • State Advocacy: We collaborate with state affiliates to engage with state legislators on issues that affect our physicians and patients.

  • Regulatory Advocacy: The AOA studies and evaluates regulatory proposals that could impact the profession, submits comments to federal agencies, and engages directly with federal agencies’ leadership to promote our goals.

  • Osteopathic Representation on Federal Advisory Committees and Panels: It is vital that osteopathic physicians serve on federal advisory committees and panels and share their unique perspective on health issues. We regularly submit nominations and advocate for the selection of our DOs 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.

Priority Areas

  • Access to Care: The AOA fights to ensure that all patients have access to the care that meets their needs. This includes advocating for consumer protections in insurance markets, coverage of essential benefits, and strengthening of entitlement programs. We work to protect and expand benefits and coverage provided by Medicare and Medicaid, and we seek to expand eligibility to Medicaid.

  • Opioid Addiction Prevention and Treatment: We support legislation that promotes opioid alternatives for pain management such as OMT, funds research on addiction and treatment, and promotes greater access to substance abuse treatment.

  • Access to Medical Education: The AOA advocates to protect programs crucial for students to finance their medical education, such as Graduate PLUS Loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

  • Single GME Accreditation: The AOA is working to achieve a singular, unified accrediting system of graduate medical education programs.

  • Regulatory Reform: The AOA fights to ensure that our physicians have the flexibility they need in designing treatment, to reduce paperwork and reporting requirements, and to support the needs of physicians in small and independent practices.

Member Engagement

  • The DO Engage: The AOA sends out a newsletter on current legislative and regulatory activity, and updates on issues that affect our members.

  • Advocacy Action Alerts: We send our members calls to action to stimulate grassroots engagement when legislative activity takes place that may significantly impact the profession.

Events and Programs

  • DO Day on Capitol Hill: Held in the 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. Over 1,100 physicians and medical students come to DC to advocate for the profession.

  • TIPS Fellowship: Trains osteopathic residents in health policy to support their future engagement in advocacy and policy development on behalf of the profession.

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