Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

ADA Turns 25 – Medtrade Attendees Look Back

July 27, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), legislation designed to extend accessibility and prevent job discrimination for people with disabilities. Much like the equipment and services provided by the HME industry, the ADA boosted independence for millions of Americans. Medtrade Monday asked several Medtrade attendees to reflect on the ADA’s progress to date, as well as the work that is yet to be done.

“Medtrade and the ADA are really both about increasing independence for people with disabilities. Great minds and great companies come together at the show with equipment and services that improve accessibility for people with all kinds of disabilities. The 25th anniversary of the ADA is a great chance to reflect on how far we’ve come. Opportunities for HME providers will continue to expand as the ADA becomes even more ingrained and people live longer lives.”   — Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade

“In the last 25 years, the ADA has created opportunities and transformed lives. As we celebrate the ADA and how far we’ve come, this anniversary is also a reminder of how far we need to go. We all need to remain vigilant that people with disabilities have access to the best technology and equipment, which can make a major difference in their lives. Everyone knows someone who is disabled, and I’d like to thank the disability advocates and friends of the disability community that are working every day to expand disability rights and bring disabled Americans into the mainstream of society in school and work.”  
Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare

“While America is far from perfect, as a country we have certainly recognized needs of mobility-impaired Americans. The accessibility to transportation, entertainment venues, restaurants, schools, and national parks has evolved tons in the last 25 years. The technology advances that allow people with disabilities to participate are more amazing every day. Mobility and independence is what America is all about and we are engaged.”
Jim Greatorex, Business Development, VGM Retail Services

“The ADA has made a significant difference in the opportunity for this community to engage and participate in what most of us take for granted. However, government policies through Medicare and Medicaid restrict the ability to use new technology to further this effort. This is the unintended consequence of a flawed payment system based on inappropriate pricing mechanisms that don’t allow for research and innovation.”
Joel D. Marx, Medical Service Company, Cleveland, Ohio

“Although the ADA has made great strides in raising awareness and making improvements in the lives of people with disabilities over the last 25 years, continued improvements are imperative. Specifically, I hope we can make the third party payer community better appreciate the needs of people with disabilities. As technology advances are made, so too should third party payers begin loosening their purse strings and reimburse for these great advances and much needed improvements.”
Miriam Lieber, founder, Lieber Consulting, Los Angeles, California

“The ADA brought to light the fact that a substantial portion of our population was suffering alone or in silence because the larger world was inaccessible to them. Unlike other civil rights legislation where it takes a painfully long time for the thoughts and minds of society to begin normalizing the legislative effort, people with disabilities felt triumph sooner because the ‘discrimination’ they experienced was often unintentional, and in the form of physical barriers rather than thought or belief bias. By regulating the ‘physical’ access issues, the ADA was able to positively impact a population that had largely gone unnoticed by society at large.”
Laurie Bachorek, chief operating officer, MetroCare Home Medical Equipment Inc, Grand Prairie, Texas

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has had a profound positive impact on the lives of Americans with psychological, learning, mobility, hearing, visual and chronic health impairments by providing a level playing field to remove barriers to accessibility to all public accommodations allowing those with these disabilities to enjoy a quality of life as equal as possible to that of able bodied individuals.”
Bruce Brothis, president, Allegient Billing & Consulting Inc, Elizabeth, Colorado

“The ADA  promised to fulfill the dream of social equality for all disabled citizens. It promised there would be no segregation of the disabled into lesser quality social services, healthcare, and education. We must now question whether the competitive bidding program for DME is taking them backwards because of its denial of the same due process rights to the disabled—afforded to all other Medicare beneficiaries.”
Herb Paserman, Jerry’s Drug and Surgical, Bayonne NJ