Call on your competitors and colleagues

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

HME News has been instrumental in keeping everyone up to date on current events. As an industry, HME has been battling vigorously against competitive bidding legislation, but how can we strengthen our efforts to improve the associations who carry the sword for all?

“For all” is the key phrase.

Every HME provider should belong to his or her state HME association and national association. When I look at the number of dealers throughout the country, and then check with the associations, I find they do not have anything close to the 100% support they need.

When they have that, these associations will be as effective as the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), or any of the major organizations that contact 


Without sufficient funds, our associations cannot obtain better results. They do a fantastic job representing the entire industry, but the entire industry is not on board with them.

The cost of membership to your state and national association is not excessive. As a matter of fact, your accountant will tell you that membership is a normal cost of operating and maintaining your company. When your accountant files your income tax forms, membership is deductible. 

After all, if you do not belong, you may not file any income tax—because you might be out of business.

As part of the big package, membership provides good communication. Many of the state HME associations send me copies of their e-mail reports. These are informative and vital. Associations represent you in the state capital, and that alone is worth the cost. I have attended many state association meetings, and the speakers provide a lot of valuable information.

If you already belong to your state HME association and national association, you still have the ability to bring in new members. All for one, one for all. Just call one or two providers and urge them to join. Your enthusiasm will convince them. No one wants to lose his or her business, and asking others to join works.

Again, call your competitors and colleagues. They will join. Do it now before it is too late. 

—Shelly Prial