AtHome focuses on lawmakers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The first few months have been busy for fledgling HME provider association AtHome Services, according to Executive Director James Herren. 

While he continues to meet with providers and work to expand membership, Herren has also been busy with educating local lawmakers about competitive bidding.

Those efforts have been challenging due to a lack of knowledge about the HME industry, he said. 

"Politicians don't know about us," he said. "Shame on them for not knowing, and shame on us for not making sure they know how important we are. We have to make it our business to make sure they know." 

Herren's efforts are especially crucial since Round 2 includes several major areas of Tennessee, including Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, among others.  

Membership building efforts will continue, he said, as the association works to prove its worth. 

"I understand with monetary commitment, they want to make sure they get something out of it," said Herren. "There is strength in numbers, and the more people in the organization, the more they have to listen to us."

Herren said a full association meeting would take place this fall, with members voting on leadership, bylaws and committee membership, with interim ones in place until those decisions are officially made. 

"We know that we'll be successful in getting members and being a voice for those members," said Herren. "We'll work to help mute the effects of competitive bidding and also just to serve the suppliers in the state of Tennessee."