Patients Back ‘Save My Medical Supplies’
Campaign has generated 5,500 consumer letters to Congress calling for reforms to bad DMEPOS policies.
- By David Kopf
- Jul 24, 2014
The American Association for Homecare has extended Save My Medical Supplies (savemymedicalsupplies.org), a consumer awareness campaign aimed at driving consumer awareness and activism regarding Medicare policies that impact the industry.
Save My Medical Supplies will continue to provide consumers with information about DMEPOS-related legislation through the end of the year, will ask for support regarding binding bids legislation, H.R. 4920.
So far, the campaign has seen solid success. Launched in April, the pilot campaign produced 5,500 letters in 90 days asking Congress to reform poor Medicare policies.
“One of our core responsibilities as healthcare providers is to educate patients and help them understand they are their own best advocate,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “We’re all in this fight together and engaging the people we serve in the legislative process — along with their families, friends, and caregivers – is how we win.”
Save My Medical Supplies engages patients through online content that relates to their lifestyle and conditions and how home medical equipment, supplies and services play essential roles in their lives. Lisa Wells of Get Social Consulting, Anna McDevitt of Laboratory Marketing and Beth Ludwick of AAHomecare manage the campaign.
Both the website and a corresponding Facebook page tie together educational content with the Medicare policies that are impacting access to care. These lead to direct call-to-action links asking consumers to send their own letters to Congress in support of better Medicare policies. The SMMS Facebook page also provides messages of hope and encouragement to its 3,331 followers.
In addition to the thousands of letter sent to Congress, part of the decision to continue the program comes from the strong support of the HME industry. National providers and manufacturers such as Apria and Pride Mobility have included Save My Medical Supplies links on their own websites. Medtrade has spread the word through links on their website and newsletter, and state associations, including GAMES, ADMEA, NYMEP, JAMES, OAMES and MAMES, have informed their members about how to get their patients involved in the campaign.
“Social media is the new frontier for the fight against the Medicare bidding program,” said Kamela Yuricich, executive director of Ohio Association of Medical Equipment and Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association. “It’s time we get personal and let homecare patients and their families tell their stories and reveal the real impact of bidding on their own health care. I encourage all of us to use this campaign to focus the spotlight on this broken program, not simply because its bad public policy and needs fixed from a practical sense, but in compassionate terms: it’s harming our patients and destroying quality homecare services that are so vital to a strong healthcare system in the future.”
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.