Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

AAHomecare in Action – Make Your Plans for Medtrade

September 29, 2014

ATLANTA – Make your plans to join your peers from all over the country at Medtrade, scheduled for Oct. 20-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

 Only Medtrade pulls together best-in-class educational offerings, the newest products and services from hundreds of exhibitors, and provides the most-valued networking and relationship building-opportunities available to the HME community.

• Medtrade is again offering the popular 6-4-18 series that brings together six seminars that are building blocks for success in the next eighteen months.
• Hear the latest developments regarding major legislative and regulatory issues from AAHomecare leadership at the Washington Update on Tuesday, Oct 21, from 8:00 to 9:45am.
• Join industry leaders at the Stand Up for Homecare reception, the premier networking event at Medtrade and welcome the latest inductees to the Homecare Champions Hall of Fame at the Stand Up For Homecare reception on Tuesday, October 21, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Atlanta Chamber’s Rooftop Pavillion. Register Here.

AAHomecare Announces 2014 Homecare Champions
The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) announced last week that Cara Bachenheimer (pictured), senior vice president of government relations at Invacare Corp and Joel Mills, CEO of Advanced Home Care, will receive the 2014 AAHomecare Homecare Champion Awards.



The Homecare Champion Award recognizes AAHomecare members who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community throughout their careers. A Homecare Champion embodies the spirit of service and caring that are hallmarks of successful leaders in our community.



“These two people embody leadership,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “As some of the most influential forces in the homecare community, they are well known for both their service to the industry and their passion for helping patients. AAHomecare is honored to present this award to Cara and Joel for their steadfast commitment to the homecare sector.”



AAHomecare will present the awards to Bachenheimer and Mills at the Stand Up for Homecare reception at Medtrade at 6:30 pm on the evening of Tuesday, October 21, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, 235 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30303.

The Stand Up for Homecare reception is one of the biggest networking events of the year, where more than 200 c-suite executives gather to raise funds for a good cause and honor those that support the industry. Click here for more information or to register to attend the Stand Up for Homecare reception.

AAHomecare Meets with NHIA, Declares Support for Home Infusion Legislation
On Monday, September 22, AAHomecare CEO Tom Ryan met with the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) President and CEO, Russ Bodoff (pictured, left). Kendall Van Poole, NHIA vice president of legislative affairs, Steve Yurich, NHIA senior vice president and chief operating officer, and Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy also joined the meeting.

The teams discussed broad range of issues including industry trends and challenges, areas of collaboration and mutually beneficial ways to partner on behalf of patients. The discussion also included strategic ways to marshal support for the current legislative initiatives of the two associations.

The meeting was productive and has resulted in NHIA formally endorsing the Audit Reform and Improvement (AIR) Act, H.R. 5083. AAHomecare is also endorsing and helping build support for the H.R.5435, the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act, which was introduced in the House on Sept 10.



The Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement the Medicare home infusion therapy benefit in a manner that ensures that: (1) Medicare beneficiaries have timely and appropriate access to infusion therapy in their homes, and (2) there is rapid and seamless coordination between drug coverage under Medicare part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program) and home infusion therapy services coverage under Medicare part B (Supplemental Security Income) to avoid the filing of duplicative or otherwise improper claims. Learn more about H.R. 5435 here.

AAHomecare Applauds Senator Harkin for UN Efforts on Disability Rights
AAHomecare is proud to support the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and applauds Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) request for a vote on the CRPD on September 17. 

The CRPD is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. At its core, it is the international framework of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is a pathway to pressing nations around the world to increase their accessibility standards to the heights of the ADA.



AAHomecare is disappointed that the CRPD didn’t pass the Senate before the current recess and applauds Sen. Harkin for continuing to press this important issue. While Harkin is retiring from the Senate at the end of this year, he has vowed to never give up on this fight.

“Another sad, irresponsible day in the United States Senate,” Harkin said on the Senate floor last Wednesday. “There is no controversy over this.”

Two years ago, Senate Republicans blocked the treaty on a 61-38 vote despite former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) lobbying for adoption.

AAHomecare urges the Senate to bring the CRPD to the floor. Party politics should not interfere with voting on a treaty that is the key to improving equality abroad for persons with disabilities who work and travel internationally. The CRPD has been adopted by more than 150 other countries and is strongly supported by leading national veterans’ service organizations.

Center for Medicare Advocacy and AAHomecare Meet at AAHomecare HQ in DC
On Tuesday, Sept 24, AAHomecare CEO Tom Ryan met with the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) Senior Policy Attorney Alfred J. Chiplin. CMA Senior Policy Attorney David Lipschutz, Jay Witter, AAHomecare senior vice president of public policy, Kim Brummett, AAHomecare vice president of regulatory affairs, and Beth Ludwick, AAHomecare senior director of communications, also joined the meeting.

 CMA is a national, non-partisan, education and advocacy organization that works to ensure fair access to Medicare and quality health care.

The Center is staffed by attorneys, paralegals, nurses and information management experts; it may provide legal advice, self-help materials and representation for older adults and persons with disabilities who are unfairly denied Medicare and/or access to health care.

 Recently, the Center filed a class-action suit against HHS alleging that wait times for case hearings at the administrative law judge level of the Medicare appeals process are on average five times longer than the congressionally mandated 90-day limit for decisions.

The CMA calls the Medicare appeals process “unjust” and argues that the first two levels of the process “rubber stamp” CMS’ initial denials, and so it is not until the administrative law judge stage that any additional oral or written testimony can be provided; and thus more cases reach that stage than should and contribute to the long lag times.

The group discussed the progress on the lawsuit and the problems that the backlog is creating for patients. AAHomecare shared many concerns over access to care problems created by the audit process and competitive bidding and briefed CMA on the current legislative initiatives, H.R. 5083 and H.R. 4920. The staff found many areas of agreement and possibilities for further exploration on issues that both are working on.



“One of the great things about being headquartered in DC is that we have a chance to meet with other advocacy groups face to face to discuss pressing issues and areas for collaboration, said Witter, AAHomecare. “CMA has an amazing team working hard on behalf of patients and we look forward to working with them more closely in the future.”