Industry Mobilizes to Educate Congress on DME

The durable medical equipment (DME) industry is mobilizing this week, in person and via the phone, to educate and enlighten members of Congress about the value of homecare and the many forces that are threatening its existence and success.

Just ahead of next week's Congressional recess, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) is holding its annual Washington Legislative Conference at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel to speak directly to legislators on the Hill.

Among the key talking points for the event, which wraps up today, are the Market Pricing Program, being suggested as a replacement for the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services' controversial competitive bidding program for DME; and the current spate of Medicare audits, which are severely challenging suppliers' cashflows, daily operations and overall viability.

Event participants will also be discussing with their elected officials Medicare's power mobility demonstration project - which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week could begin as soon as June of this year -- and a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology due to the niche's highly customized nature and its accompanying services, which are extremely specialized.

AAHomecare had recently lowered the registration fees for the event to encourage more participants. Association members could register for free, while AAHomecare subsidized registration for non-members, who could register for $100.

While AAHomecare was leading industry efforts on Capitol Hill, the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAIMES) was encouraging industry members who are staying home this week to contact their elected officials today as part of NAIMES' Feb. 16 Virtual Capitol Hill Conference.

NAIMES is asking callers to contact their senators and representatives, then to register the results of their calls by completing a Virtual Fly-in Result Survey.

NAIMES is hoping to register thousands of calls in support of AAHomecare's conference this week, and in support of the many issues currently challenging home medical equipment suppliers.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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