Tom Scully: HME lobbying lacks focus

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Although this year's Senate proposal to eliminate the capped rental option for durable medical equipment and CMS's deep cut to the respiratory-med dispensing fee are harsh, they aren't meant in a punitive way, says AAHomecare consultant and former CMS administrator Tom Scully.
"This year, the industry just ran into some bad luck," he said. "Congress needed a big number, and it was there for the taking. Congress has a habit of going out and whacking things."
In the HME industry's defense, Congress "focuses on short-term budgetary needs rather than long-term policy," which should include a strong homecare component, Scully said.
Overall, the HME industry has done an admirable lobbying job, he said. For providers to become more effective in delivering their message, Scully advises them to orchestrate a more focused campaign: "There are too many associations and too many lobbyists who are presenting different issues."