BAYONNE, NJ – After three decades in the HME business, Herb Paserman’s fighting spirit is undimmed. As marketing manager at Jerrys Drug and Surgical, Bayonne, NJ, the 64-year-old Paserman is fighting competitive bidding through state association membership and a little help from the media.
Last week, he got a call from New Jersey Public Television, and soon the TV crew was at the 5,000-sq-ft shop (in business for 85 years) for a feature on competitive bidding. “The NJ reporter was actually talking to patients about Obamacare, but the patients told him about the competitive bidding program and its many problems,” explains Paserman. “They said, ‘Obamacare is nothing compared to this competitive bidding problem.’ My name was mentioned because a lot of people know me, and the reporter gave me a call.”
A five-minute interview with Paserman was ultimately whittled down to one sentence, but the piece “did the job and was very effective.” The much-forwarded NJ News Clip is one element of Paserman’s fight against competitive bidding, along with a commitment to state associations. “I’m a very strong believer in the state associations,” he says, “and I’m a long-time supporter of the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers.”
Paserman says he is no longer an AAHomecare member due to a falling out over past strategies, but new leadership has got him thinking about joining once again. “Tom Ryan is certainly a very capable and competent person,” he says. “I can’t think of anyone better to run the organization.”
The topic of hobbies elicits a chuckle from the three-decade HME veteran, who confesses: “I don’t necessarily consider myself a workaholic, but my business is really my life, and when I do activities, it is usually something with the industry.”
Even with a “meddling government wreaking havoc,” the best thing about the business, he says, is that the core function is helping people deal with sometimes catastrophic life situations. “Many people who are in this business find it difficult to leave it,” he muses, “because they play an important role in people’s lives. I have a disabled son with autism, so I deal with disability issues, and I know what’s going on firsthand.”