Sunday, August 31, 2008

Q. With national competitive bidding delayed, how do I help my association continue to fight for our industry?

A. Our industry has won a major battle, no doubt about it. But the question that must be answered (not just asked) is what now? State associations and their members must continue to take leadership roles in helping to solve the healthcare crisis that our nation faces. The next few months are critical-we must hold their attention-so start today.

As part of the solution, state associations and their members need to work with legislators who champion our industry. Many state associations and their members have already contacted legislators, asking to be a part of the process. We need to provide them with information on what it takes to provide the quality products, services, maintenance and education involved in being an integral part of the solution.

State associations and their members must also find ways to help root out the criminals whose fraudulent activities continue to bloody the nose of an industry filled with ethical, caring and dedicated healthcare and business professionals.

In addition to legislators, state associations and their members must also carry this campaign to the media. We need to show all who will listen our level of integrity and dedication to providing for the people who need our products and services so desperately.

So, what now, you ask? Take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back, join your state association and get to work being a part of this solution. We can never let our industry be put into this predicament again. We must act now.

Rose Schafhauser is the executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services