Rehab providers donate time, money to consumer group cause

Friday, January 31, 2003

PHILADELPHIA - The HME industry has been touting the importance of involving consumers in its various causes, and now it’s taking steps to return the favor.

Rehab providers and manufacturers are donating their time and money to a two-week march sponsored by ADAPT, the consumer group that drafted the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act (MiCASSA). The act, which has been introduced in Congress, would give people with disabilities a choice of where and how they receive services.

Dave Williams, who’s serving as the link between the rehab industry and ADAPT, said providers have donated $2,500 to the cause so far, and he hopes to raise $5,000 before the march begins in Philadelphia on Sept. 3.

“We talk the talk about involving and supporting consumers, so they’ll support us,” said Williams, director of government affairs for the Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare. “This is our opportunity to walk the talk.”

Williams is also trying to recruit providers to offer tech services and repairs for those participating in the march, which culminates in Washington on Sept. 17.

Gary Gilberti, president of Chesapeake Rehab, said his company has donated money to the cause, and it will also provide tech services and repairs.

“It’s about building bridges to consumers,” Gilberti said. “Our voices will be stronger because of it.”

Three others have donated money to the cause: Invacare; the Toledo, Ohio-based Young Medical Equipment; and an anonymous donor. HME