IIN Advocacy Update: A Look Back at 2020
2020 was a challenging year for us all, but even during difficult times, there can be silver linings. Good ideas will come, people who bring positivity will be heard, and professions that are positioned to transform health will shine.
IIN’s advocacy achievements over the years
In 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) recommended that medical practices have Health Coaches on staff to improve people’s overall health and reduce the amount of medical care they need.
In late 2019, the AMA approved the creation of new Category III CPT codes for health and wellness coaching. These Category III CPT codes are used to collect data within healthcare systems as to the effectiveness and benefits of health and wellness coaching on patient health outcomes. These codes are temporary, but the hope is that with enough data demonstrating the effectiveness of health coaching, the codes will transition into permanent status, which means that health coaching can eventually be submitted for reimbursement by insurance! This was the first step on the path to fully incorporating health and wellness coaching into the delivery of improved healthcare models.
Without IIN’s advocacy efforts, the upward trajectory of health coaching would not have been as pronounced!
How IIN adapted to change in 2020
The central goal of IIN’s advocacy efforts is to meet with people face to face to discuss the importance of Health Coaches. IIN also hosts events in Washington, D.C., to showcase the skills and practice of health coaching. Of course, 2020 forced us to adapt.
We found new ways to highlight the amazing work of our Health Coaches, and we are pleased to report – despite lots of obstacles – great progress in advancing the profession of health coaching.
This year, IIN’s Health Coach Training Program and subsequent top-up course called the Coaching Intensive Practicum were approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, demonstrating they meet or exceed the standards for health and wellness coaching education. Graduates from these programs qualify to apply for the national board-certification examination and have the opportunity to earn the designation National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). This is an incredible opportunity and step forward for IIN’s Health Coach graduates.
IIN’s accomplishments in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., IIN worked with our congressional allies to advance policies and proposals that would raise the visibility and recognition of our community.
We facilitated our annual Health Coach Day 2020 with five members of Congress joining us during the day’s webinars. They addressed our community of change makers on how to continue persevering to spread the ripple effect of health and happiness.
We organized and hosted a congressional webinar on the importance of holistic health and the work of Health Coaches. In additional to outstanding speakers from IIN, we were joined by Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), who shared about his father’s health journey and his mission to prioritize the health of his own family.
IIN continued to work with our congressional allies and introduced three bills that will advance the Health Coach profession:
- S.12 – Health Savings Act of 2019 116th Congress (2019–2020) – If passed, this Senate bill would allow individuals to use up to $1,000 of the pre-tax FSA/HSA for health coaching services.
- H.Res 117 – Expressing Support for Health and Wellness Coaches 116th Congress (2019–2020) – This is a commemorative recognition resolution by the House of Representatives of the field of Health and Wellness Coaches.
- S.Res. 227 – Expressing Support for Health and Wellness Coaches 116th Congress (2019–2020) – This is a commemorative recognition resolution by the U.S. Senate of the field of Health and Wellness Coaches.
To help support these efforts, please sign our petition.
To close out the year on a positive note, IIN hosted a webinar on December 16, with our D.C. allies as well as two former NFL players on finding balance and supporting your mental and emotional well-being. Here's the replay!
We’re looking forward to 2021 with renewed energy to advocate for every new opportunity for IIN Health Coaches.
We know how valuable Health Coaches can be in the healthcare system to help bridge the gap between doctors and patients and provide the support and resources patients need to reach their health goals. IIN is committed to the success of every graduate making a difference in their communities, and this advocacy work aims to further support our graduates in all that they do.
Darrell Rogers began his career in Washington, D.C., 20 years ago and has worked for members of Congress and several notable nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. More recently, his work has been committed to protecting and promoting holistic healthcare access. Every month, we’re sharing the notable work that Darrell is doing in Washington, D.C., to increase the visibility and recognition of Health Coaches.