Saturday, January 31, 2004

Getting involved must start today
With Calvin Cole

Q. When is the right time to discuss Medicare issues with the federal government?

A. As we have all learned, discussing our problems on the eve of legislation is too late. We have to be more proactive than we have been in the past. Our industry has to get on the radar screen years in advance of major reform. AAHomecare with the leadership of Kay Cox is moving our association and industry in that direction. One voice for the common good of our industry will serve the beneficiaries, which in turn secures our position. With help from each of us, we can become a more viable part of healthcare. All of us working together with the guidance of AAHomecare will speak volumes to legislators who count on us for information so they can make good decisions.

Legislators have to deal with lots of different issues, both on national and local levels. They only have the capacity to know a little about each issue, and they learn that from staff and the citizens in their districts. That is exactly why HME providers should develop relationships with their representatives now - years in advance so they can count on you for advice.

If you are not active in AAHomecare get active. If you are active, get others to join our fight. Until we get hand and hand and go to Washington with a united voice we will always be on the receiving end of legislation. I think it’s about time that we are standing next to the president when a bill gets signed because it’s a win for our seniors and our industry.

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