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eyeContacts in Action: House Ways and Means Ranking Member Rep. Richard Neal Meets with ASCRS Member in Massachusetts

Yesterday, ASCRS member Steven Berger, MD, met with Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) in Springfield to deliver a campaign contribution on behalf of eyePAC, the non-partisan political action committee representing ASCRS members, as well as discuss key policy issues important to ophthalmology.

Rep. Neal, who is the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee and running for re-election in Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District, spoke at the ASCRS/Alliance of Specialty Medicine Legislative Fly-In this past July in Washington, D.C. During his meeting with Dr. Berger, the two discussed the importance of preserving a viable Medicare fee-for-service payment option, since there are no ophthalmology-specific Alternative Payment Models (APMs) available at this time, as well as maintaining the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for quality reporting. In addition, they talked about other issues, such as the need for Congress to address various barriers to specialty care, including prior authorization and step therapy.

Dr. Berger described Rep. Neal as “receptive and open to the points I made” during the half-hour they spent together. During the visit, the Congressman also inquired about a possible visit to Dr. Berger’s practice.

Dr. Berger is a member of the growing ASCRS eyeContact volunteer advocacy program. ASCRS•ASOA eyeContacts are engaged with elected officials in their communities. Whether it be discussing issues with their Senator while hand-delivering an eyePAC check on behalf of the society, inviting their Representative to visit their practice, hosting a fundraiser for a key candidate, or simply responding to an ASCRS grassroots action alert, eyeContacts are active to the extent that suits their availability and comfort level.

If you would like to join members like Dr. Berger and become an eyeContact, please contact Tami O’Brien, manager of PAC and grassroots, at tobrien@ascrs.org.