New Media Campaign Seeks to Empower Consumers

A new communications campaign is aiming to make it easier than ever for consumers who use DME and complex rehab technology (CRT) to speak out about their Medicare rights.

In a news announcement, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) said the new Web site hopes to increase "consumer awareness about the painful and disheartening problems associated with Medicare reform mistakes that are restricting consumers' access to homecare medical equipment, services and supplies."

The campaign will be run by AAHomecare and Lisa Wells, president of Get Social Consulting. Anna McDevitt, president of Laboratory Marketing, will support their efforts.

"We are honored to support the HME industry in this effort," Wells said. "The heart of the whole campaign will revolve around humanizing the policy issues that are hurting the patients we serve as care providers. As care advocates and small business owners, we will be sharing individual, personal stories in a format that is visual, viral and digital."

The Web site discusses a number of issues impacting the community of wheelchair and DME/CRT users, then walks visitors through the process of sending a message to their U.S. Senators and members of Congress.

Site visitors can click on such topics as "How Medicare Reform Mistakes Impact People with Cerebral Palsy" or "How Medicare Reform Mistakes Impact People with Spinal Cord Injury."

By clicking, for example, on the SCI article, visitors can view a microsite homepage that details the "three major areas of concern related to Medicare reform mistakes and spinal cord injury: Access to care & related medical supplies; quality of care delivered; choice in care options."

The microsite also lists the types of medical equipment commonly used by people who have SCI - power and manual wheelchairs, hospital beds, support surfaces, etc. The SCI page includes information on "How Medicare Changed the Process of Wheelchair Repairs" and "How this Medicare reform mistake hurts people with spinal cord injury."

By entering their ZIP codes, visitors can send letters to their Senators and members of Congress on current issues, including a lack of access to wheelchair repairs. The Web site provides a suggested letter that visitors can use or edit. Visitors can also craft their own letters from scratch.

The Web site signs the letters based on visitor-supplied contact information and e-mails the letters immediately. The entire process can be completed in a few minutes.

"Digital media is a powerful tool for uniting providers and consumers to make our voices heard in Washington," said McDevitt. "Our mission is to help consumers understand the power they have to speak up for their quality of care - and give them the proper tools to do so."

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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