Save time, money for education

Friday, October 31, 2008

Q. With all the competition in HME education, why is it still important to attend state association events?

A. Every time we turn on the TV, go on the Internet and read newspapers, we hear about the economic woes that confront us. Many providers are nervous about their financial futures and are actively seeking ways to save money. Within our industry, we hear of providers freezing or reducing budgets for travel and education. They’re asking themselves: Where is the best return on my education dollars? Education programs offered by state associations should be one of their answers.

Because of their proximity, state associations offer educational programs at a reasonable cost. They offer programs based on membership feedback and requests. Many associations use education committees comprised of providers who suggest programs based on their needs.
State association educational programs also provide direct access to state payers. Associations have contacts with these payers and are able to provide education on their respective insurance programs. If members have issues, they’re able to work with payers on them. Often the localized networking provided by state associations allows these issues to be handled in a much more efficient manner.

Perhaps the most important aspect of state association educational programs, however, is the opportunity to learn from and with members who are experiencing the same issues. Many of the best solutions are generated with member input.
In today’s world of tight travel and education budgets, your state association provides a cost effective way to provide valuable education to the largest number of your staff.

Rose Schafhauser is the executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services