OAMES: 'We have an allocation problem'

Thursday, April 30, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) hosted a briefing for state legislators recently to educate them on the value of home- and community-based health care.

“One of their first orders of business in the next few months will be the state budget,” said Kam Yuricich, executive director of OAMES. “Since they’re going to have big decisions to make, we wanted to be proactive. We wanted to help them understand DME.”

Yuricich gave a presentation called “What is DME? Who is DME?” Joining her: Greg Moody, a senior consultant at Health Management Associates; Jeff Biehl, president of Access Health Columbus; and Walt Theado, a certified public accountant with Plante Moran.

Having Moody, Biehl and Theado as presenters, took OAMES’s pro-home care message to the next level, Yuricich said.

“It wasn’t only an OAMES message,” she said. “I tried to stay very strict to what we do and who we are, and then I let the others make the connection between home- and community-based healthcare and potential savings.”

Theado, for example, spoke of the number of emergency room visits each year and the enormous cost to the state.

“The underlying message was, if we could contain and redirect what we spend on ER visits, we could fund programs like DME that are a better value,” Yuricich said. “I don’t necessarily think we have a funding problem as much as we have an allocation problem.”