Rehab committee makes connections

Friday, June 22, 2012

STILLWATER, Minn. – The Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) Rehab Committee has spent its inaugural year doing just what it intended: help members connect on mobility issues. 

“We’ve shared a lot of information at the state Medicaid level,” said Andrea Mattson, rehab technology manager at Rochester, Minn.-based Med City Mobility and Rehab Committee chairwoman. “We’re able give each other a ‘heads up, this could be coming to your state.’”

The 15-member committee, with members from each of the states MAMES represents, meet via conference call monthly to share strategies and present a unified voice on issues like the seven-state power mobility device demonstration project slated to begin later this summer and the separate benefit for complex rehab.

“They talk about what they can try to accomplish, like supporting the effort to fight for legislation,” said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES. “The more providers that are involved in those kinds of efforts, the better.”

Mattson said the group works because members are geographically close enough to have similar concerns, but they aren’t competing with each other. 

Mattson’s main goal is to make sure MAMES’s rehab members educate policymakers so policies are better for patients. 

“We know so much about our own industry, and, unfortunately, the people who shape our policy and affect our beneficiaries know little about it,” said Mattson.