Working Together for Quality Healthcare
ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 20, 2009)—Representatives from the National Fibromyalgia Association and 11 other California-based nonprofits recently attended the 10th annual California NeuroAlliance Conference. The two-day program, held April 27-28 in Sacramento, addressed issues surrounding access to appropriate and affordable healthcare, as well as critical issues that are of interest to people living with chronic illness.
This year’s focus was on restoring four “optional” benefits—adult dental services, adult optometry, adult speech therapy and incontinence creams and washes—which were eliminated from California Medi-Cal coverage in February 2009; and a durable medical equipment bill (AB 214), which would require health plans to cover durable medical equipment (i.e. walkers, wheel chairs, hospital bed, etc.) under both private group and individual policies.
In addition to addressing public policies that affect people with neurological disorders, the annual conference provided an opportunity to hear firsthand from key decision makers and state department directors. Attendees also participated in advocacy training and, with other alliance members, visited legislators at the state capitol. In all, more than 100 legislative offices were visited to discuss the impact on health and quality of life for people affected by neurological conditions, and to seek their support in restoring benefits and the passage of the durable medical equipment bill.
The California NeuroAlliance is an advocacy partnership representing millions of Californians affected by neurological conditions, their advocates and their doctors. The coalition's purpose is to improve patients’ quality of life by promoting access to quality healthcare through education, public awareness and advocacy. In addition to the NFA, the following organizations were represented at the conference: The ALS Association, American Academy of Neurology, American Stroke Association, Association for California Neurologists, Epilepsy Foundation of America, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Hydrocephalus Association, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Neurofibromatosis, Inc. of California, Neuropathy Association and the Parkinson Association of Northern California.