Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Patient Care - Why We are Still Fighting For It

It is a fact that when attacked animals and people will fight back because if they don’t they will lose. When the government passes legislation that is unfair or wrong, the public fights back and invariably wins.

HME providers now find themselves in a situation that requires them to fight back. Gail Walker, editor of HomeCare magazine, commented in her editorial (January 2011) that: “Most providers don’t want to give up patient service, and most don’t think it’s time to give up fighting for it – or their companies.”

She has laid out for us the best way to both rally support and get the message to Congress. “Patient Service!” Is there any other industry that provides patient service as a pro-bono part of their operations that can match that of an HME provider? In the many years I have been involved, I have seen this grow into a customer-oriented industry.

A provider with their unpaid patient service must be recognized. They cater to senior citizens, customers, family caregivers and work in cooperation with local physicians, nurses and therapists. All the provider receives for much of this is a thank you and loyalty. But, as a consequence of the competitive bid situation the client loses their local provider. They must go elsewhere, sometimes to another town or village.

Your task is to get all of these folks involved and ask them to write and call their legislators. You can help them with the tools your state DME and national associations provide. This is not the time to sit back and wait for someone else to do it. You must fight back! There is too much at stake for you and for your clientele.

Patient service and how to fight back will be discussed in great detail at Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas. Be there! Our industry must retaliate and we, working together, will win. Your company and customers must start their efforts today.

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