NMEDA responds to opponents

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. – A bill that seeks to standardize how lifts are provided to veterans has been “misinterpreted” by its opponents, according to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.

One of the main concerns with the bill outlined in a recent letter to lawmakers: that H.R. 3471 “needs a more robust conflict-of-interest provision related to the use of a third-party certification organization for the new safety standards.”

“Nowhere in the bill is an organization specified as the certifying body,” stated NMEDA in an email response to HME News. “Rather, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is to establish minimum standards.”

The bill seeks minimum standards for providing adaptive services and equipment, including a standard that those providing these services be certified by a certification organization or a manufacturer.

NMEDA, which has a certification program called the Quality Assurance Program, says the bill is necessary because there are currently no standards or safety provisions that must be met by providers of adaptive services and equipment provided to veterans.

“For far too long, the VA has allowed unqualified vendors to perform potentially unsafe and unreliable vehicle modifications and equipment installations,” the group stated. “(This bill) will put an end to the dangerous and costly practice. It will set in motion the actions necessary to formulate standards.”