HME Goes to Washington
Providers turn out in record numbers for legislative conference.
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Association for Homecare saw record turnout at its March Legislative Conference. More than 350 providers and other representatives of the HME industry came to the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel to meet and listen to speakers to prepare for meetings with staff of House and Senate members on behalf of the HME industry.
“We had several objectives — primarily the specific requests for action from Congress to delay round one of bidding and fix the program, to prevent further cuts to oxygen, and preserve the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs,” said Michael Reinemer, vice president of Communications and Policy for AAHomecare.
“More broadly, it’s critical to make sure that representatives from the DME community come to Washington as constituents and make their voice heard in face-to-face meetings with their own legislators and their staffs,” he continued. “It’s part of what should be a year-round effort to communicate with Congress.”
Reinemer chalked the record attendance up to leadership from state associations, as well as efforts by buying groups, manufacturers and other stakeholders. “Also, there is simply a huge level of concern about many different issues,” he added “I think homecare providers know that advocating on Medicare DME issues really is an essential part of their job.”
The event’s list of speakers at the event included Sen. Pat Robert (R-Kan.), Sen. Ken Salazaar (D-Colo.), Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), Ms. Wheelchair America Kristen McCosh, and presentations from two sets of economists on the economic impact of competitive bidding.
This article originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of HME Business.