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The National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAIMES) has launched an online petition to stop CMS from competitively bidding home medical equipment. By Friday, about 2,500 people had signed the petition. A good chunk of the signees have also left comments explaining how competitive bidding will decrease the quality of patient care and force some businesses to close their doors.

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“Because they can sign the petition and submit comments online, just sitting in their offices, they’re not intimidated by the marble columns of Washington, D.C., and they’re able to talk from their hearts,” said Wayne Sale, chairman of the association. “I hope some of these words will be part of the bricks that build a fortress around our industry.”

NAIMES hopes 30,000 people will sign the petition, which it plans to deliver to each member of Congress. The association has already sent the petition to hundreds of members and others. Friday, it also planned to send the link to attendees of AAHomecare’s Legislative Conference. Providers like Bruce Bayes have forwarded the petition to hundreds of contacts.

“We have a list of 550 clients, therapists, doctors and other providers that we sent this to,” said Bayes, president of Custom Mobility in Largo, Fla. “I think it’ll get 30,000 or more names.”

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