Thursday, October 1, 2009

2009 Conference Speaker Makes Waves on Capitol Hill.

An AP story published on Monday, September 28th talks about a Washington DC lobbyist who pounds the halls of Congress on behalf of birth centers and the American Association of Birth Centers. Click Here for article Karen Fennell, MS, RN, was a featured speaker at the 2009 Controversies in Childbirth Conference which was held in Fort Worth Texas. Karen's topic was “A Washington DC Update on Birth Care Issues.” Karen explained that government pressure on insurance companies to lower administrative costs is resulting in companies refusing to contract with small providers and instead to only contract with large integrative groups. Many of the conference participants protested and said that this move could force small practitioners out of business. They asked if there was any way to stop this trend? Karen said that the laws have already passed and the ship has already sailed. Small providers being forced into larger groups is not a question of, “if” it's a question of “when”. This was just one instance of information that was talked about at the Controversies in Childbirth Conference that has not been discussed at any other birth provider conference. I want to personally congratulate Karen on the great job she is doing and point out that she has gone toe to toe with the big dollar lobbyists, even though she has a miniscule budget by health lobbying standards. I have known Karen for quite a number of years and I will tell any birth related organization that is looking for lobbying capabilities to consider Karen. It would be the smartest decision you can make. Alan

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