How to Take Action

HOW TO TAKE ACTION  PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA  |  RESOURCES  AWARDS  |  PUBLIC POLICY HOME

Your voice counts and we need your help to strengthen ASPEN’s advocacy efforts today! Advocacy initiatives require involvement from all ASPEN members and stakeholders. You can take responsibility and help by contacting your legislators at the state and federal level to voice your thoughts, opinions, and support of key legislative priorities. We encourage you to use the ASPEN provided resources to ensure that your elected officials understand your views as their constituent as well as a nutrition support professional. Help support the ASPEN Public Policy and Advocacy agenda by engaging now. Here are the steps to follow to take action today! 

How to Identify Your Federal Representatives and Senators:

  • Visit www.congress.gov to find out who your Senate or House members are. (Note: Each of the lists provides office addresses, phone numbers, and links to their websites where you can find email addresses or “contact me” pages). 

How to Identify Legislators at the State Level:

  • Visit your state’s government page: Enter https://www.XX.gov  (the “XX” is the abbreviation for your state. For example, www.CO.gov is the official state of Colorado website) 

General Communication with your Legislators: 
For general communication, use this letter template to begin creating your communication.

Key Action Alerts
For specific communication, a list of ASPEN key priority issues and key action alerts is included below. Where available, specific letter templates are provided to make contacting your senators and representatives quick and easy. Thank you for your efforts and for taking action today!

Priority Issue
Brief Description

Letter/Communication Template (if available)

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), Bills S.1536/H.R.3108
Companion bill S.1536/ H.R.3108 introduced in the 117th Congress in May 2021, expands Medicare coverage of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services. Currently, Medicare covers MNT only for individuals with diagnosed diabetes or kidney disease and post-kidney transplant and requires a physician referral. The bill extends coverage to individuals with other diseases and conditions, including malnutrition, prediabetes, obesity, eating disorders, cancer, and HIV/AIDS, hypertension, dyslipidemia, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions causing unintended weight loss. This legislation also allows nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, and psychologists to refer patients for MNT.  
MNT Letter Template
Medical Nutrition Equity Act, S.2013/H.R. 3783
A campaign by Patients & Providers for Medical Nutrition Equity, a coalition whose members include ASPEN and more than 40 other provider and patient organizations, led to the reintroduction of the Medical Nutrition Equity Act (S.2013/ H.R.3783) in the 117th Congress in June 2021. The bill seeks to expand coverage under Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs and private health insurance to include foods, vitamins, and individual amino acids that are medically necessary for the management of certain digestive and metabolic disorders and conditions.   
Safe Step Act, S.464/H.R.2163
Reintroduced in the 117th Congress is the Safe Step Act (S.464/ H.R.2163) in February and March, respectively. The purpose of this legislation is to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the best treatment for them. The bill requires a group health plan to establish and exception to medication step-therapy protocol in specified cases. The bill also requires a group health plan to implement and make readily available a clear process for an individual to request an exception to the protocol, including required information and criteria for granting an exception. The bill further specifies timelines under which plans must respond to such requests.   
Patient Access to Medical Foods Act H.R. 56
Re-introduced in the 117th Congress in January 2021 is the Patient Access to Medical Foods Act, H.R.56. This bill provides for coverage of medical foods under Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and TRICARE. The bill also requires private health insurance providers to cover medical foods. Generally, a medical food is a food prescribed by a physician for the dietary management of a disease or condition. The bill also expands this definition to include a food prescribed as a therapeutic option when a physician determines that traditional therapies are inappropriate for the patient. This bill is intended to amend the Orphan Drug Act to recognize Medical Foods and assign them a National Drug Code (NDC) to improve reimbursement.   
Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act S.2652 In August 2021, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the US Senate in the 117th Congress that will ensure Medicare patients maintain access to home infusion therapies that require the use of an infusion pump.  The Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act provides technical clarifications that removes the physical presence requirement from Medicare’s current home infusion therapy benefit, ensuring payment regardless of whether a health care professional is present in the patient’s home. The legislation also acknowledges the full scope of professional services delivered by home infusion clinicians, including essential pharmacist services. The act also permits nurse practitioners and physician assistants to establish and review a home infusion plan of care, in addition to a physician.