WASHINGTON, DC – On the heels of the recent Washington Legislative Conference, momentum is building for support of rural relief legislation. Conference attendees met at more than 225 legislators’ offices to discuss the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Act of 2016, and other advocacy priority issues.
Not only did the conference give suppliers and manufacturers the time to spend on the Hill, but it also provided key issue education to ensure everyone was prepared for the questions they received when speaking about the pay-for and other attributes of the legislation. Attendees also heard from Peter Thomas, of the ITEM Coalition, who announced during the conference that the ITEM Coalition supports PADME. Representing over 70 consumer groups, the ITEM Coalition has a powerful and well respected voice on The Hill.
Thomas’ rallying speech opened the conference and was followed by the general session which included a discussion on the challenges faced by rural providers. The rural panelists explained they have cut all the corners they can. Their challenges include thousands of miles of territory with rising gas prices, dirt roads, unfavorable weather conditions, and other opposition to allowing profit.
During the PAC Reception on Wednesday evening:
AAHomecare’s president, Tom Ryan, presented the AAHomecare/Mal Mixon Legislative Advocate Award to Thad Connally, president of First Choice Home Medical in Bowling Green, Ky, and the president of the Kentucky Medical Equipment Suppliers Association. Congressional speakers included Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) who agreed that if cuts take place on July 1, it will hurt patients and providers. The Congresswomen provided tips for speaking with members of Congress and their staff about the pending legislation.