Thursday, March 28, 2013

Current Events

Many exciting, interesting and important things happened during Medtrade Spring last week in Las Vegas. That being the case, today I will share some of this, not gossip, but what I saw.

The hall was filled with people. The difference from previous Medtrade exhibitions was that everyone attending came to learn and find new OTC opportunities. Another very important part of the show was carrying our message to Congress. The message is we are asking for new legislation (MPP) to be passed ASAP! This is a project for every DME provider to perform. I will repeat in my next blog “how to,” as I saw it done in Florida.

 We will no longer exist as an industry when part 2 of the Competitive Bid legislation becomes a reality. Many DME providers may be obliged to close their doors as a consequence. This will seriously affect their patients and customers! Too many recipients and their family caregivers will have to run to other locations for their needs. Many will do without.

The President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, Tyler Wilson, will step down in September. He has an exemplary record of accomplishments since he took charge in 2006. His guidance through those trying years has been superb. This year alone, “Stand Up for Homecare” raised more than $50,000.00.

This leads me to another thought! NAIMES in the last few years has grown into a most interesting association. Wayne Stanfield, President & CEO, has built a similar association to AAHomecare. Is this the correct time to consider a merger?  I believe so! I have always been proud of our industry associations and I know that ONE strong association can be most effective.

This becomes paramount since Congress and CMS do not understand the role of DME/HME providers. They only see dollars going out and they do not recognize that they have created a cornucopia, which is being ripped off by others, not by us! If a criminal is arrested for say, selling drugs, he will go to prison. When caught defrauding Medicare, his wrist is slapped and his company closed. This is a big magnet for them. Are there any standards or requirements to become a provider? 

Eliminating much fraud and abuse would be a huge step forward. We are making some positive moves in that direction. Accreditation is very important, but if someone is dishonest, can they be suspended or their accreditation revoked? It needs teeth! Nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and therapists all require a license, but any one can open a DME location.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Our industry has proven by the activities and attendance at Medtrade in La Vegas that they are prepared to have the MPP legislation passed. So please get on board STAT by joining forces with your state and national associations.

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