Pennsylvania: New director to 'hit the ground running'

Friday, January 24, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the departure of high-profile executive director John Shirvinsky in December and a game-changing state health program on the horizon, 2014 will not be a quiet year for the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS.)

After a five-day retirement from Meadville, Pa.-based Vantage Home Medical Equipment and Services, longtime PAMS board member and past board chair Tom Sedlak took on the part time executive director position Jan. 6. 

His first order of business: a proposed Healthy PA initiative, effective 2016, that completely revamps the state’s healthcare program, including placing limits on HME spending. 

“We’re going to hit the ground running,” said Sedlak. “This is another strike against DME. We’re reading through the 97-page proposal, attending every meeting and submitting comments.”

The plan also calls for enrolling 500,000 new people into the state’s managed care programs.

“If providers don’t have contracts with these insurance companies, will they be excluded?” said Caryn Plessinger, PAMS executive committee chairwoman. “We’re working to understand as much as we can about how this will affect our members.”

PAMS’s focus on Healthy PA is part of a renewed focus on state issues, association members say. 

Other goals: actively increase membership, promote educational webinar offerings regarding compliance and accreditation, and maintain efforts regarding competitive 


While Sedlak says the association’s membership has remained steady overall, PAMS member John Letizia says more members are needed to fight for the industry.

“Trying to go it alone is very difficult,” said Letizia, owner of Laurel Medical Supplies in Ebensburg, Pa. “We need a strong board and a strong membership.”