WASHINGTON, DC – The 2014 AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference proved there remains some fight in an industry that has seen more than its fair share of mistreatment from the powers that be in Washington, DC.
Providers from across the country were in attendance to advocate for the needs of their patients, the health care providers who rely on their services for a functional continuum of care, and the team members they employ to deliver critical services in the communities they operate in.
Issues addressed ranged from introducing common sense changes to the competitive bidding program (binding bids, for starters), to providing relief from the administrative nightmare that the current audit appeals process has become.
Legislators were open for discussion and continue to be pleased to meet with dedicated providers who are seeking a path forward during unprecedented times of challenge. Leaders remain interested in hearing about fixes that will ensure cost savings for the Medicare program while concurrently ensuring beneficiary access to care and a level of stability and predictability to the Medicare program.
The one constant among attendees appeared to be a sense of figuring out how to move forward and to innovate and operate in such a challenging environment. Attendees were in DC because they have a deep passion for the industry, for their organizations, and for a level of patient care that is increasingly being marginalized by ineffective and unenlightened policy.
I enjoyed the event, as I always do, and thank AAHomecare for their continued focus on issues that will resonate with lawmakers and provide relief for providers. I also thank my fellow attendees who spent precious dollars and took time out of their busy schedules to advocate for an entire industry.
Gary Sheehan, MBA, is president and CEO of Cape Medical Supply Inc, Sandwich, Mass.