Gregg Bogost, MD, FACR, the government relations chair of the Wisconsin Radiological Society (WRS) recently shared insights into the WRS scope of practice advocacy success achieved during the 2022 legislative cycle. During his conversation with the American College of Radiology® (ACR®), Dr. Bogost shared how an ACRA Scope of Practice Grant helped in Wisconsin’s scope fight.
During the legislative session, the WRS was engaged in combating a well-funded effort by multiple non-physician provider groups to drastically expand their scope of practice in Wisconsin. Multiple state and national physician specialty groups advocated against the scope expansion legislation, which was ultimately vetoed by the governor.
Our conversation with Dr. Bogost touched on this advocacy victory and the importance of radiologist-led advocacy.
Why and when did he get involved in advocacy?
Dr. Bogost got his start in advocacy in 1999 when he started advocating against a harmful licensure bill. He found the entire political process to be an interesting one and has been involved in advocacy ever since. He learned early on that the political winds can change at a moment’s notice and those winds can drastically alter the practice of radiology and patient care. While the political process can be frustrating sometimes, it is important to buckle down and see it through.
Why does he think it is important for other radiologists to be involved in advocacy?
Radiologists are able to offer a unique perspective and have valuable insight into issues directly impacting the practice of radiology and healthcare in general. Dr. Bogost mentioned that radiologists, as compared to other specialty physicians, see many orders from mid-level physicians and physician assistants, and, because of this, radiologists have a very well-rounded view of the healthcare landscape.
When Bogost speaks to elected officials and their staff, especially about scope of practice, it’s important for him to emphasize the education and training a radiologist has compared to mid-level providers. Having a highly trained radiologist interpret various test results can lead to faster pathways to diagnosis and lesser cost on the patient. It is also essential that radiologists share their story because many elected officials are not as familiar with the many roles radiologists play in a person’s healthcare.
What advice would he give to other state radiological chapters who are engaged in scope of practice battles?
His first piece of advice would be to search out and retain a lobbyist who is well established and has good connections in their state capital and has experience in healthcare issues. Bogost also talked about how it is important for members of the state chapter to get involved in other state and local medical organizations. This is an opportunity for future coalition-building with other specialties and to combine resources for legislative pushes.
Dr. Bogost also wanted to point out the following advice for other state chapters:
- The next legislative fight is not if, but when.
- Always be prepared.
- Create connections, establish coalitions, and be well organized.
How did the ACRA’s Scope of Practice Grant help WRS during their most recent legislative fight?
The WRS was very grateful to the ACR for establishing this grant as it greatly impacted their advocacy efforts. Bogost mentioned that this scope of practice fight took much more time, money and effort than originally thought. The money the WRS received from this grant allowed the chapter to develop a much more extensive and far-reaching advocacy campaign. He also mentioned that this type of funding was needed and will be needed again as he anticipates future battles with non-physician groups who are well organized and well-funded.
The ACR would like to thank Dr. Bogost for his time and would like to thank him and the WRS for all their work on behalf of radiologists in Wisconsin. If you have any questions about this article or the ACRA scope of practice grant, please reach out to Dillon Harp, ACR Senior State Government Relations Specialist.