The wolves at your door


We've all heard the stories: HME providers are crooks, out to scam Medicare, etc. etc. Sometimes it's as simple as a local news brief about what I would call a "so-called" HME provider who has been busted for Medicare fraud. I say so-called, because many times it's obvious these are no providers.

Sometimes it's more egregious, like say when a CMS official or lawmaker, rabid for cost savings, starts throwing around Internet prices for oxygen and questions why Medicare pays so much.

Or maybe its the latest anti-fraud measures, aimed at protecting the Medicare program, although in the case of widespread audits, CMS is barking up the wrong tree.

Whatever the case, the industry does a pretty good job of trying to keep these stereotypes at bay whenever they crop up. Which is what you need to do, because, left along, stereotypes can be harmful to the maligned group.

Which is why the following subject line in my email inbox gave me pause: "Stop spreading wolf stereotypes."

Yup. It seems a recent ad depicting a pack of wolves attacking a man is harmful to wolves. The email says that such a depiction fuels anti-wolf sentiment in popular culture, at a crucial time for wolf recovery.

First, I had no idea there was a a popular anti-wolf movement about. I mean, who is anti-wolf?

I will admit, wolves, like HME providers, are indeed an endangered species, and there's nothing funny about that.

But there are so many serious problems out there, so many maligned and stereotyped and underrepresented groups out there, howling for fairness that I gotta say, I am throwing this plea...back to the wolves.

Theresa Flaherty