Former provider ready to take HME message to Washington

Friday, June 30, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - If the personal is political, then David Davis' experience as an HME owner will give him plenty to discuss on the Hill should his Congressional bid succeed.
"We need to have somebody inside Congress who can tell the tale of how much money we can save," said Davis, a conservative Republican from east Tennessee running for the 1st Congressional District . "If you look at the makeup of Capitol Hill, there's a lot of attorneys. We need someone up there who has a healthcare background who understands there's two sides."
A four-term state representative, Davis owns Shared Health Services in Johnson City, Tenn., providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for hospital wound care centers. Prior to that, he owned a home medical equipment company for 10 years, earning the Tennessee Association for Home Care Supplier of the Year Award, mainly because of his political activism, he says.
"When you own an HME, there is government that you have to deal with," said Davis. "In the '80s and '90s, we had to fight some battles and we won those battles, but it took a group that was proactive."
Today's battles include Medicare reimbursement cuts to oxygen. A respiratory therapist by training, Davis said he sees beyond dollars to sense when it comes tooxygen therapy.
"You've got to have your oxygen available," said Davis, whose mother suffered from COPD. "Not for 13 months, not for 27 months. It's not going to go away."
Reimbursement cuts are not the way to control federal spending and can lead to greater costs in the long run, said Davis.
"Sending a patient to a costly ER and having them admitted to an acute care facility is not the best way to save money," he said. "You're much better off giving people the equipment and services they need at home, where they would prefer to be."
Davis can be reached through

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