MAMES Members Meet with Sen. Thune

Providers from the midwestern association convey the key role the HME industry has played during the Covid public health emergency.

Members of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services and Supplies (MAMES) recently met with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in Sioux Falls, S.D. to discuss critical issues facing the HME providers and the clients they serve.

“Members thanked the Senator for his leadership on past legislation including the CARES Act and the important relief it provided during extraordinary times.” said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES. “Senator Thune spent an hour listening to MAMES providers explain how they were an integral part of the health care continuum during the pandemic, playing a critical role in getting patients out of the hospitals and long-term care and allowing patients to recover in their homes.”

In addition, the MAMES members, also accompanied by representatives of the American Association for Homecare and VGM & Associates, related the challenges they are operating under, including:

  • Staffing shortages.
  • Cost increases for products.
  • Additional surcharges for items that cannot be passed on to consumers.
  • Public and private payer reimbursement rates based on 2015 pricing for Medicare.
  • Low rates for many Medicare managed care programs.
  • Burdensome documentation requirement.

“Representatives from MAMES, VGM Group, AAHomecare asked Senator Thune for help in extending the CARES Act relief for the HME community after the public health emergency ends and to assist the industry in getting answers from CMS on the future of the so-called competitive bidding program going forward,” Schafhauser added. “I would like to also extend my sincerest gratitude to each of the MAMES Members who took the time from busy schedules to travel to this event. And also, Jay Witter, AAHomecare and John Gallagher, VGM Group for attending and bringing your expertise to this critical meeting.”

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