Sunday, February 29, 2004

Don’t dilute the message
With Calvin Cole

Q. I just heard that a number of members left AAHomecare and formed a new association dedicated to the specific needs of rehab providers. Is this good for the industry?

A. The industry has labored long and hard so CMS would recognize assistive technology. Unfortunately, there are some renegades attempting to take rehab and redefine it for their own purposes. Could it be that they do not want the thousands of dealers that work in communities around this country to supply these types of products? AAHomecare (including its rehab council) was established to represent everyone in our industry. All age groups of patients, children, teens, adults, and seniors need the assistive technologies that we supply. Many are home and bed-bound and need a range of additional products we supply in order to live independently. Make no doubt about it, we are at a crossroads. In order to fully secure our place in the healthcare continuum we cannot be divided nor dilute our message. CMS has stated that supplying cost effective and appropriate goods and services to beneficiaries is mandatory. Let’s take the moral high ground and give beneficiaries what Congress intended. Let’s rally under the flag of AAHomecare and stand up for the rights of those who need the services our industry renders. If you are a member of a buying group or club, encourage your organization to become active and support AAHomecare and RATC. If as an industry, we can charge up Capitol Hill with the message that we are partners with the government and taxpayers, we can achieve great things.

Calvin Cole is the director of corporate development at Hoveround: 800-964-6837.