Nurses go for an HME president

Friday, October 31, 2003

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Six years after Michigan’s state HME association disbanded to join the Michigan Home Health Association (MHHA), the 22-year-old group has selected an HME business owner - Steve Slater of Airway Oxygen - as president.

In June, Slater began a one-year term as president-elect; he will begin serving a one-year term as president in June 2004.

Although two HME representatives serve on MHHA’s 14-member board, the election of an HME member as president is a first for MHHA, which typically chooses a leader from the ranks of its nursing members.

In a recent letter to its members, including 35 HME companies, the board cited Slater’s savvy in government circles and ongoing participation in MHHA as a board member, secretary, treasurer and executive committee member.

“He has provided a persuasive voice in creating opportunities for our certified, hospice, private duty, pharmacy/infusion and HME leaders to make our case on issues unique to each of their service lines,” the board wrote.

Although some frown over the effectiveness of organizations that combine lobbying efforts for nursing and equipment under a single banner, such as MHHA and AAHomecare, Slater is persuaded that Michigan’s HMEs have made gains that might have proved elusive otherwise.

Recently, when Blue Cross Blue Shield prepared to implement a rule that called for HME companies to obtain prescriptions within 10 days of the delivery of service, an HME board member appealed to the MHHA board.

Eventually, Blue Cross agreed to a 90-day deadline.