WASHINGTON, DC – I’ve never been one to push people to go to Washington, because I believe the true advocacy power of the DME industry is at the district level. This year, however, we must make a powerful showing in Washington, DC, for the AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference, May 22-23.
We are at the most critical point ever to face the DME industry, and without a strong showing in DC in May, we may miss the last, best chance we could have to turn the tide of complacency to support for the soon to be introduced MPP bill.
We need every state DME organization to plan and bring one member from each Congressional district. We need to rally around the mission of getting maximum cosponsors for HR 1717.
I know it costs money to come to DC, but not as much as many might think. Southwest to Baltimore is cheap. The MARC train to Union Station is $6. There are dozens of inexpensive hotels if you want to save on overnight costs. The Metro can get you around for $2 or so. You can always do the fast food thing for meals not provided by the conference.
The bottom line is that the industry needs YOU to invest a few dollars, come to Washington, and tell Congress that the CMS DME bidding program is bad policy gone wrong. If it’s not stopped and replaced with a sustainable process, the result will be bad for Medicare beneficiaries, suppliers, and for jobs. This is America, and the DME bidding program is un-American.
Wayne E. Stanfield is vice president of Provider Relations for the American Association for Homecare.