Just wanted to share this great follow-up email from a #HAN15 attendee to their Member of Congress. It’s a textbook example of how to ‘do it right’. I’ve taken out some identifying details, but I’ll post it generally in its entirety and then offer one or two thoughts:
Hi [staffer with whom person met],
Thank you for taking my call today. Good to talk with you! With time short on this Senate Sign-on letter (until Friday!) I hoped to circle back with belated thanks to XXXX for meeting with me and our small delegation from [State] last Tuesday.
Attached is the letter initiated by Sens. Pat Roberts, and Mark R. Warner, and corresponding HR 3037 in the House initiated by Tom Reed (NY-23), and Thompson (CA-5).
May we count on Senator XXXX to sign onto the Senate letter to CMS? Thus far, in addition to Sens. Roberts and Warner, the letter has been signed by Senators Hirono (HI), Tester (MT), Ayotte (NH), and Gardner (CO).
The letter asks for a test run (demonstration project) for 1 year starting Oct. 1, in one MAC only, to contain and work out glitches before launching on the entire nation’s hospice providers and the patients and families being served by them. The hospice community agrees with and likes the two-tiered payment methodology; however has deep concern about technical infrastructure, education and training needed to implement payment reform across the U.S. in one fell swoop, concurrent with ICD-10, another major change for which we have worked hard to be ready. We are concerned CMS realistically won’t be ready.
However, CMS wishes to do this is fine, but our hope is one MAC only. We think CMS overlooked previous input on testing it out since hospice is still such a small part of everything that CMS has going on.
We thank Senator XXXX in advance for his thoughtful consideration to sign-on the letter in behalf of hospice patients and quality providers serving them. We appreciate that he is incredibly busy accomplishing much good in representing [State] and the national interest in Congress!
There is another Senate bill, S1349, you may be aware, Support the Care Planning Act, that just dropped late last Monday, that I would like to talk with you about later.
Thanks, again, XXXX! I and we really appreciate your openness and accessibility.
- The letter is polite but not obsequious.
- The ask is straightforward. Note the directness: “May we count on Senator XXXX to sign onto the Senate letter to CMS?”. It’s okay to be this direct!
- The writer gives context, but doesn’t offer up 5 pages of text for the staff member to wade through. It is as concise as it can be.
Just a textbook example of follow-up communications to a Congressional office. I love it.