Pat Naeger issues call to action
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Pat Naeger, president of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services, found a receptive audience when he went on a local radio show to discuss the recent slashes in Medicare reimbursement.
Naeger, who also owns Healthcare Equipment & Supply Co. in Perryville, Mo., was invited in January to talk about how CMS’s plan to apply competitive bid rates will affect rural beneficiaries on Pure Country C106.1’s Cousin Carl Show.
Naeger, who advertises with the station, says the show has a large senior citizen audience.
“(Carl) cares about his listeners and he knew this was something that would benefit them,” he said.
Due to the high volume of phone calls pouring into the station, the normally 20-minute guest spot stretched into an hour.
“It angered a lot of folks,” said Naeger. “Everything’s going up and they said, ‘How dare Medicare make these kinds of cuts.’”
What started out as a crash course on Medicare’s new reimbursement rates quickly turned into a call to action.
“All of them were calling in and saying, ‘We’re going to call (our lawmakers). We’re going to have our voice heard,’ and we gave them the phone numbers,” said Naeger. “100% of people didn’t know about (the cuts).”
Naeger says the key to reversing the cuts is educating beneficiaries and getting them to voice their concerns to Congress.
“They don’t know if we don’t tell them,” he said. “And it’s pretty amazing that once you start talking to them—and you give them the resources to make the call—they’ll make the call.” hme