Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Thank You to Rep Thompson

September 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – I receive reports from the state associations when they have won the support of their representatives in Washington. The officers who run these associations are working as hard as they can to gather support behind our cause.

If they and AAHomecare could get at least 90% of the DME/HME dealers and providers to become dues paying members, I believe they would have already been successful in this battle.

Thank you to Rep Glenn Thompson (R-Pa) for his support and comments. I really appreciate how he summed up the competitive bid legislation: “It’s shown to be anything but competitive.”

The Congressman also echoed what we have been saying: “Over the past several years, we’ve seen the program negatively affect seniors and force small medical companies – many that are local and the only entity capable of providing quality goods and a high level of service – out of the market.”

A great deal of credit for earning Congressman Thompson’s’ support goes to the Pennsylvania DME dealers and the efforts of John Shirvinsky, executive director of  PAMS. Efforts like this are being replicated throughout the United Sates.

I don’t have the space to identify every state association; there are more than forty. Each is superb, but here are just a few that I hear from often (thank you):
• ADMEA: Mike Hamilton
• FAHCS, NCAMES, VADMEC: Beth Bowen
• MAMES: Rose Schafhauser
• NEMED: Karyn Estrella

I receive emails from many others not mentioned above, as well as from AAHomecare. I hope to thank you all personally in Orlando at Medtrade, which will be held from Oct 8-10. I know that the more quickly every state’s DME/HME providers commit to membership, the more quickly HR 1717 will move out of committee and on to the next crucial step. 

This is a reminder to our industry that we must make every effort to bring membership in these associations close to 95% of the dealers as dues paying members. Can we do that? If we want to exist, we have no choice.

Shelly Prial is an industry veteran, longtime HME advocate, and Medtrade Ambassador.