IAMES: Bill is 'primary driver'

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

NAPERVILLE, Ill. - At its annual meeting in late April, the Illinois Association for Medical Equipment Services (IAMES) agreed that lobbying for the Hobson-Tanner bill should be its top priority this summer.
At press time, only one of 19 Illinois representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives had signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 3559: Rep. Ray LaHood.
"Our primary driver for the next six months is taking a more proactive lead in getting co-sponsors," said John Tripp, president of IAMES and vice president of Denman Services, a Quincy, Ill.-based provider. "Our goal is to get eight or nine more legislators onboard."
To reach its goal, IAMES is encouraging providers to host meetings with legislators to explain the mechanics of national competitive bidding and its impact on providers and beneficiaries. For the first time, it's also encouraging providers to recruit beneficiaries to participate in upcoming grassroots efforts, including rallies.
"We want our members--and we have a little more than 300 of them--to each have a beneficiary ready," Tripp said.
While the Hobson-Tanner bill has always been a priority for IAMES, it was eclipsed last year by the now-passed 36-month cap on Medicare oxygen reimbursement, Tripp said.
"We've been trying to swallow this whale one bite a time," he said.