Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Virtual Fly-in Set for July 18

July 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – After two weeks of competitive bidding (round two),
AAHomecare officials are receiving reports of delays, equipment
shortages, and contractors refusing services in bid areas around the
country. On July 18, they are calling on providers and beneficiaries to
really pour it on via phone calls, e-mails, and faxes.

“An
effective way to pressure Congress to stop bidding and replace it with
the market pricing program is for them to hear horror stories directly
from their constituents,” say AAHomecare officials in a note to members.
“To make the biggest impact, AAHomecare is coordinating efforts with
VGM, The MED Group, and state associations to hold a virtual fly-in on
Thursday, July 18, for providers and patients from across the country.”

AAHomecare will send providers information about problems collected in each state (e-mail Jay Witter
at jayw@aahomecare.org). Providers are encouraged to tell beneficiaries
about the lobbying effort. One way to make that a reality is by
directing web savvy seniors to the AAHomecare Action Center as an easy way to make their voices heard.

The
beneficiary complaint hotline, sponsored by People for Quality Care
(PFQC) and AAHomecare, can document problems and guide seniors to the
appropriate place to call or e-mail on July 18. The phone number for the
hotline is (800) 404-8702.

“Congress will give a great deal of attention to what Medicare beneficiaries are saying,” says Jeff Baird,
JD, chairman of the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato. “Why?
Because the elderly constitute the largest voting block in the country.
If the DME industry shares its message on Capitol Hill without major
involvement of its patients, then it is tantamount to competing in an
athletic event with one hand tied behind the back. Beyond the virtual
fly-in, the industry must focus on involving our senior citizens in the
fight against competitive bidding.”

“We have delayed discharges,
poor quality equipment, and bid winners with no experience relying on
sub contractors to help them learn as they go,” laments Thomas Ryan,
president and CEO, Homecare Concepts Inc, Famingdale, NY. “Quality
providers operating for decades are watching their businesses fail in
this new world. We have oxygen patients with no-choice old technology,
phones ringing with no answers from current winners. Come on, my
colleagues—let’s focus on issues, voice our concerns, and engage the
beneficiaries.”

Part of the “ask” on July 18 should include a
plea for Congress to support HR 2375, the bill to delay the bid program,
and HR 1717 (137 cosponsors to date), the bill to replace it with a
market-pricing program. All additional questions can be forwarded to Jay
Witter at AAHomecare, jayw@aahomecare.org.

Congressman to Speak on July 17 Webinar to Stop Competitive Bidding
AAHomecare is encouraging providers to join a July 17 webinar with Rep Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) at 2:45pm ET.
The
webinar is designed to prepare providers for the virtual fly-in on July
18, an event which organizers hope will flood Congressional offices
with phone calls. Rep Thompson will spend time explaining the industry
can stop competitive bidding in 2013.

Stopping “Competitive” Bidding in 2013 Webinar
Day: July 17
Time: 2:45pm ET
Host: Jay Witter, vice president of government affairs, AAHomecare
Guest: Rep Glenn Thompson (R-Pa)

How to Join the Webinar

Link: https://pams.ilinc.com/join/yhtctts
Dial-In Number: 1-309-944-9519*
Passcode: 1216572

*Because of the high volume of callers expected on this webinar, please dial-in at least 5 minutes early (by 2:40 pm ET).