Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reshaping Medicare the Right Way

Politicians today have coined a new phrase: “reshape Medicare!” This in their zeal to show how concerned they are about the high growing costs of Medicare. All these two words are just another way of seeking votes. I am really chagrined by the fact that there appears so little concern about all the fraud & abuse draining out the funds.

Yes, reshaping Medicare should be accomplished! But “HOW?” This is a major problem. When I see reported the amount of dollars that are passing from lobbyists and major companies, it is clear that congressmen are afraid to lose them. So what do they suggest? “Reduce reimbursements!” No concern is indicated for the recipients. The lowest prices possible! Care and service will no longer be available. Care and service is why HME providers are so respected and it is given “pro bono.”

I have sent my thoughts to several members of Congress. I sent a message to Congressman Ron Paul, which has not yet been acknowledged, as well as others. All of us who are fighting just to stay solvent and continue to take care of patients must get involved. Speak to the senior citizens, family caregivers and the beneficiaries of the service who have proven to be so loyal and appreciative of what they have received from you. Ask that they get involved. They do not want to lose the products and services you provide. However, they may be forced to go elsewhere.

Send e-mails and make phone calls to all your elected officials and tell them how much money is being milked from the system! Newspapers and TV are constantly reporting more and more fraud and abuse. The HME industry is only a small segment where money is being stolen. Most providers run a professional and honest operation. But there are too many “others” in the system. Licensing and inspection will reduce fraud and abuse. When much of that is stopped, there will be sufficient money to maintain the program.

If you do not have the name and number of your representative or senator, please contact your state DME association or me. Call, write, and get your community involved. You can win this battle and show your clientele the results and benefits of working together! They have as much at stake as you do. Together, we will “reshape Medicare.”

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