AAH's now onboard, too
In the past, AAHomecare has refused to support efforts to exempt particular HME products, including rehab, because the association believes NCB will harm providers of all products. As a national association, AAHomecare also feels obligated to lobby for the interests of all members (See HME News February 2005).
Yet, when it released its advocacy priorities for 2006, AAHomecare included exempting complex rehab from NCB as part of a list of rehab and assistive technology related priorities.
AAHomecare officials deferred comment to Seth Johnson, chairman of the association's Rehab and Assistive Technology Council (RATC), saying the association's various councils crafted the priorities. Johnson downplayed the significance of the council's decision to include exempting custom rehab as a priority.
"(The rehab carve-out legislation) would clearly have a positive impact on RATC members, and we support all legislation that would benefit RATC members," he said. "NCART's playing a leading role on that, and we're playing a supporting role."
Johnson pointed out that the Hobson-Tanner bill, which would lessen the blow of NCB for all providers, still has top billing.
Regardless, Jim Greatorex, president of the New England Medical Equipment Dealers (NEMED), said RATC's support of a rehab carve out may indicate "there's a little more unity in the industry."
"It seems like now, they may be in different offices, but they appear to have the same goals, which is nice," Greatorex said of NCART and RATC.