New York, New Jersey form NEMEP
ALBANY, N.Y. – New York and New Jersey are the two latest states to merge their HME associations.
The New York Medical Equipment Providers Association (NYMEP) and the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services (JAMES) formed the Northeast Medical Equipment Providers Association (NEMEP) in January.
“We wanted to broker on our already close involvement,” said Kim Voelker, executive director of NEMEP. “We also wanted to open up avenues for membership growth.”
For now, NEMEP has blended the leadership of NYMEP and JAMES, so for each officer role there are two providers, one from New York and one from New Jersey, Voelker says. Daniel DeSimone of NYMEP is president, and Dr. Kevin Saluck of JAMES is president-elect, she says.
Membership numbers for both associations have been down, especially in the wake of two Medicare reimbursement cuts in rural areas in 2016, acknowledges Anthony Cecere, president of Homecare USA in West Babylon, N.Y., and past president of NYMEP.
“We were able to hang on to more membership than we thought we would be able to, but there has been some contraction for both associations,” he said.
One association means being able to spread costs and share resources, Cecere says.
“We can be more efficient financially,” he said. “There is no duplication of efforts. Now we have one executive director; we have one publication.”
One association also means more power, says DeSimone, president and CEO of Continued Care of Long Island in Farmingdale, N.Y.
“It’s an awesome thing to pull off, because it definitely strengthens our membership and unifies our voice a bit more,” he said.
NEMEP is open to adding other contiguous states to further strengthen its base, Cecere says.
“We’re in talks and I see us expanding,” he said.