Why support the Senate bill... Because

Sunday, August 31, 2003

When I opened the August 2003 issue of the HME News this afternoon, I was shocked to see Kay Cox’s picture with the quote, “health care is a business with a mission. It’s not a commodity we can afford to cut. Any time there is a cut, it hurts patients and their families.” [See profile] Does she read her AAHomecare president’s memorandums? She has been calling for our industry to support a seven-year CPI freeze. AAHomecare has also been supporting a required accreditation provision. AAHomecare can’t have it both ways. If they feel a cut is bad for health care, they should back it up by saying they are against a CPI freeze. How can they be the voice for our industry? Where I come from, that is considered hypocritical thinking.

- Derek Lovesee is CEO of Medical Equipment Specialties in Scottsbluff, Neb.

AAHomecare responds:

Personal attacks are not constructive. But let’s set the record straight. The CPI freeze policy was arrived at by our board, months before Kay (Cox) assumed the helm, and we did so only after debating the freeze vs. competitive bidding. Second, AAHomecare did NOT propose the Senate DME accreditation provision; however, we are supporting the Senate Medicare bill, since it does not include competitive bidding. DME accreditation is simply one of the cards that we’ve been dealt, and like most providers, our industry has been forced to choose between “evils.” But I am confident that AAHomecare will work to find a way that all of our members - large and small alike - can meet these challenges, and continue to serve Medicare patients.

- Steven J. Knoll is president of Knoll Patient Supply, Inc. and immediate past chair of AAHomecare.
Supply the good stuff
The July commentary “Direct to consumer, push-pull, twisted...Who is your customer?” was pure BS! Someone is simply crying foul without understanding how the market has changed and adapting to - and profiting from - those changes. Patients have been our primary customers for over a decade. Their family caregivers have been buying for them, because at 75 to 80 years old, they are much less mobile. And adult children/baby boomers buy brands, buy high-end and buy fully-loaded products. Eighty percent make their purchasing decision after they are already shopping in a retail store. So the commentary’s author should quit crying about why no one is buying their low-end “basic entitlement” junk that Medicare used to overpay for and start making and distributing the better-grade options that their customers now demand!

- Jack Evans is president of Global Media Marketing in Malibu, Claif.