Digging our graves?

 - 
05/12/2009

When we received a press release announcing that a handful of independent HME providers had formed a new group to get their specific interests heard on Capitol Hill, I wondered how our readers would repond. It seems representation abounds for the industry these days, whether it's AAHomecare, NAIMES, AMEPA, The VGM Group or The MED Group. Now add the Committee to Save Independent HME Suppliers (CSI: HME) to that list. One reader e-mailed me this morning, saying: "I think this is one of the most irresponsible things members of our industry could do." Bruce Brothis, president of Allegient Billing & Consulting, went on:

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Our representation is already fragmented from the introduction of NAIMES and AMEPA.  We need one, consolidated loud voice in Washington, not three or four little peeps.  AAHomecare has been, and should be, our main Washington voice especially in light of their recent agreement with Nielsen / Medtrade.  I’m afraid that our elected officials will begin hearing three or four versions of ways to protect our valuable industry and these voices will fall on deaf ears.  It appears to me that we are giving Washington the shovels to dig our graves just a little deeper.  No whining when our government and CMS regulates your company out of business!

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Comments

After following the NCB process and other numerous DME insustry issues on Capital Hill since the early 1990's I cannot seriously fault stakeholders who see it necessary to take matters into their own hands. What we are seeing is simpley a group of stakeholders who are unhappy with leardership in particular organizations and are ready to step out and try to make a difference. Case in point: HME News seems to report industry news in a timely / consistant manner where other national organizations will go two or three weeks before breaking a story or even developing a story. It may be time for a new group of leaders / organizations to emerge on the DME sceen who are ready and most of all able to take a coordinated energized fight to capital hill. The last 15+ years has left me unimpressed with the results of AA Homecare efforts. I may just pick up the phone and make a nice donation to one of these other groups. In most cases competition breeds excellence......Good luck to you.

I agree its time for new leadership. Why is Tyler Wilson proposing oxygen reform when our mantra should be to oppose CB and Capped oxygen first and foremost. As an independent dealer, I feel left out by the braintrust group of manufacturers and HME service companies to propose such issues without the independents consult first. Even our state associations oppose reform for the lack of information on reimbursement. I refuse to take such a proposal to my congressmen and women because they're just starting to understand the issues of CB and Capp. How confused and upset do we want to make our message? We need to stay on course with our fight against CB and Capped Oxygen.
I also learned long ago not to give CMS any ideas to assume we're working together to better the industry when in fact, CMS implements our ideas as there own then cuts reimbursement further. AAH should be showing indignation towards CMS for imposing 9.5% cuts by flawed data from the CBO. The data used was by low bids from non-existent companies in the initial 10 CBA's and what did TW do at AAH? He thanked them for delaying CB. I on the otherhand had to figure how we were going to make payroll after January 1. I know of no other national organization so careful to walk on eggshells than AAH is right now. That is why we're percieved as unorganized and weak.