HME key piece of puzzle, provider-lobbyist says
LAFAYETTE, La. - HME provider Mike Michot has spent the last 16 years as a Louisiana state representative and senator. Michot, owner of Lafayette, La.-based Permier Home Medical, recently told HME News about how he's taking his knowledge of health care, small businesses and government in a new direction as a lobbyist with The Picard Group.
HME News: What will your new role entail?
Mike Michot: I have a two-year prohibition against lobbying my own body (the state legislature): However, other agencies, federal government and local government are all fair game. Our industry is a prime example of an industry that needs advocates because we are heavily dependent on government payers--Medicare and Medicaid. I've realized firsthand how important it is to have advocates and to have a voice on Capitol Hill.
HME: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
Michot: Looking at the up and down cycles that providers have been forced to endure because of budget cuts or the economy, I want to try to provide some diversity and some stability in the sources of funding for HME businesses. The providers are there, they serve a need and the demand is going to continue to increase--we just have to provide some stability in the funding.
HME: How do you think HME providers can be more effective in working with lawmakers?
Michot: HME providers should establish a solid relationship with their lawmakers, at the state level and at the federal level. We have to educate these lawmakers about who we serve (their constituents), how we serve them and how we're reimbursed; and the increasing challenges we continue to face in this heavily regulated environment. We may not speak with the dominant voices of the nursing homes or hospitals, but certainly we are a key component in the healthcare puzzle.