THE BASICS OF REGULATORY ADVOCACY
Regulatory Advocacy Regulatory advocacy is a manner in which advocates can help educate regulatory agencies ensure that laws which have been passed by Congress and state legislatures are implemented in the way they were intended. Given the current healthcare system and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), regulatory advocacy has become even more important in the healthcare arena. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that the patient voice is represented in all facets of healthcare regulation. Regulatory advocacy is one way to ensure that government officials hear the issues or concerns of interest to you and other patients. At a minimum, regulatory advocacy should focus on patients’ healthcare rights that ensure the delivery of safe and effective quality healthcare to all patients. The Rulemaking Process Rulemaking is the process that agencies use to implement laws that have been passed by Congress or legislatures. Just as advocates educate elected officials on the implications of legislation, advocates can help educate regulators with the implementation of the law. The public has a right to be part of the rulemaking process and your voice can ensure, on both a federal and state level, that the patient’s perspective is represented. The rulemaking process is similar at both the state and federal level. The Rulemaking Process (in general): a) Congress or a state legislature passes a law. b) The new law often authorizes an agency (or board, commission, ect.) to create rules to implement the law;
c) The agency proposes rules or regulations for public review and consideration; d) The general public has the opportunity to comment on the proposal, either in writing, with live testimony, or both. e) The agency considers comments, finalizes the rule andpublisheswith an implementation date. NOTE: Neither a federal nor state agency is required to make any changes to the proposed rule based on the comments they have heard/ read from the public, but they may be required to address them in the final publication.
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