Advocacy & Government Affairs
One of the greatest advantages and a strategic focus of Interel is our government affairs and lobbying practice. This core competency is a result of our location in Washington, DC and the public policy emphasis of many of Interel’s current clients. Our clients expect us to keep them notified about legislation and regulations that impact their industry and membership and then influence the policy process. We do this through a system of monitoring which has several layers.
Among other tools, we use CQ-Roll Call, Politico Pro and Lexus-Nexus products to effectively monitor legislative and regulatory developments and report out. We also follow federal agency websites, the Federal Register and its Public Inspection List and the Office of Management and Budget to learn early about the release of regulations. Finally, we reach out to officials in the Administration and in Congress to learn about proposed legislation and regulations and guidance under development.
An example of additional services available beyond monitoring and reporting include authoring articles and government relations updates to volunteer leaders and the membership, speaking at or attending conferences and events and providing analysis on issues of interest identified in the monitoring and responding to policy questions posed by members.
Interel executives and association professionals have extensive experience in developing policy documents and other advocacy-related materials that allow our clients to successfully communicate their positions on critical issues and to protect the interests of their profession/industry. We deliver numerous annual legislative fly-ins each year and frequently prepare advocacy materials. We look forward to presenting samples to you at a future meeting.
Interel’s vice president of government affairs, Tristan North, is a registered lobbyist with over 20 years of experience in federal government affairs. He is also the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Ambulance Association. Tristan and his team at the AAA as well as other government affairs executives and staff at Interel have been involved with the introduction of dozens of pieces of legislation. In each situation, they have been involved in the drafting of the language, talking points and leave behinds as well as Dear Colleague letters, floor statements and other material used by congressional offices. Numerous other Interel executives and staff have been involved with the drafting of scores of comment letters on proposed regulations. Our staff work closely with volunteer leaders to make compelling arguments in line with the position of the client. We also work with congressional offices and organizational allies who also may have an interest in weighing-in on a regulation.
Momentum for your Government Affairs Program
Interel has numerous healthcare clients including the American Ambulance Association, Emergency Department Practice Management Association, Physicians for Fair Coverage, and Society for Dermatology Physician Assistants. These staff teams have good relationships with many officials in the agencies of jurisdiction including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as independent agencies with a key role in health care such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In order to maintain key relationships with federal regulators and identify and develop new relationships, Interel would evaluate where your association has strong relationships and where we could be of help with other key officials. Interel executives and staff would then assist with solidifying the current relationships and make introductions with new contacts.
Interel stands ready to assist any client with expanding its network of experts and advocates to include clinicians, researchers, patient advocacy groups and other key organizations. Interel executives have experience with either running coalitions or being involved with coalitions as the representative of the client. To that end, Interel would do an assessment of the key players within any industry or profession and their positions on policy issues to assemble a coalition of allies.
Interel has helped deliver a number of successes to its clients on public policy issues. The American Ambulance Association has spearheaded efforts with the Congress and administration over the past thirty-five years on Medicare ambulance policies to increase Medicare reimbursement. Over the last decade, the AAA has secured over $2 billion in additional Medicare payments for ambulance service providers.
The AAA has accomplished success through a bipartisan group of congressional champions. By always having a Republican and Democrat on the key committees of jurisdiction over the Medicare program, the AAA has been successful regardless of which party is in control of the House and Senate. This also holds true with the bipartisan support the AAA has leveraged with the key Committees being Senate Finance, House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Focusing on solid arguments, data to substantiate its positions and having a strong representation in DC as well as with member organizations has allowed the AAA to remain very dynamic in its policy issues.
Key Component for Any Association
Every association needs to have some form of a government affairs program. There is not one association that isn’t impacted by a piece of legislation or regulation. Regardless how big or small the public policies needs of your association are or if you don’t have a program and need to start one, Interel is well positioned to help you maximize your resources and deliver success to your members.