Q&A: Wayne Stanfield
WASHINGTON – It’s ironic that Wayne Stanfield feels comfortable retiring now that NAIMES is part of AAHomecare.
After all, NAIMES was created in 2007 to meet the needs of the smaller and independent providers that felt neglected by the industry’s largest association.
But the AAHomecare of today isn’t the AAHomecare of six years ago—and that’s a good thing, says Stanfield, who was on staff there from April, when NAIMES merged with the association, until Nov. 15, when he retires.
“With Tom Ryan taking the reins, with Robert Steedley as chairman, and with Kim Brummett and Rob Brant on staff, I think AAHomecare will be a completely different organization and a much better organization,” he said. “I can step away knowing that the best interests of all members are being taking care of.”
Here’s what Stanfield had to say about why he still has faith in the industry that he has been a part of, in various roles, since 1987.
HME News: Did you ever think that groups like NAIMES and AMEPA would be folded into AAHomecare?
Wayne Stanfield: The fractures in the industry occurred partly because there was a need not being met. That may have been perceived, but perception is reality. I used to say that AAHomecare was in a boat and NAIMES was in a boat, and we were rolling in the same direction but in different boats. Now we’re all in the same boat going in the same direction. Unity is critical, and I think that’s going to continue and get stronger.
HME: Where do you think you’ve left a mark on the industry?
Stanfield: I helped a lot of people get involved in politics and understand that politicians don’t bite. You need to be someone they recognize. Having that relationship wins battles. It’s difficult for a member of Congress, when he calls you Wayne and you call him Robert, to say he can’t support something. I’ve had them tell me, “I can’t, because…” but they’ve never blown me off. They’ve always talked to me.
HME: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the industry?
Stanfield: This industry is made up of good, honest, hard-working people who have the best interest of their patients at heart. We’re not made up of crooks, scammers and people cutting corners. I’ve always hated how we’ve been painted with these broad brushes when it’s a miniscule number of companies that have caused us to have such a bad name.
HME: You’re still part of the industry as a co-owner of an HME company in Virginia and as the executive director of the Home Care Alliance of Virginia. What’s the future hold for the industry?
Stanfield: It is my hope that we can change the path of where DME is going, but it has been profoundly affected by competitive bidding, and it will take a tremendous and concerted effort by everyone in the industry to get it resolved. There’ll always be a need for DME; the only thing that is going to change is who provides it and how it’s paid for. DME, as a whole, is not going to get smaller. Providers need to learn how to adapt. Bidding will change. It has to.