Thursday, October 2, 2014

C.O.C. aka Cantankerous Old Curmudgeon

A number of years ago, at a Medtrade meeting in Atlanta, I spoke about the fact that too few dealers belong to their industry associations. I compared things with when I was active in Pharmacy, where close to 90% belonged to NARD and APhA, and now how few DME/HME companies today are members of AAHomecare and their state association.

My talk in Atlanta that year was reported as one given by a "cantankerous old curmudgeon”! I felt flattered being called a C.O.C. because it meant there were people who heard my voice. I would like that to happen again today!

This year, the DME/HME industry is facing many “life or death” problems, which must be resolved. Reimbursements are so meager that many dealers are dropping out. Too many thieves are busy stealing so much money and our government doesn’t know how to respond.

We see the problems reported in the industry publications, HMENews and HomeCare Magazine, but I do not see as many getting on board as I would like. Tom Ryan is one of our leaders, and he has asked the industry to provide AAHomecare with sufficient funds to bring about the changes we seek. Please heed his call!

This C.O.C. has been pleading with CMS and Medicare that we need licensure and a means of getting the dishonest elements out of the system. Requiring a license that can be suspended or revoked when abused is one step. Enacting rules and regulations that must be met and maintained is another. We need to have reimbursements based on what is provided; an original and a knock-off product each have a different value!

This C.O.C. is begging every DME/HME dealer or provider to get on the bandwagon and join AAHomecare and their state DME associations. This can be done at Medtrade or right at this moment! Pick up the phone, join, and say the “C.O.C. sent me!”

I hope to see you in Atlanta - THANK YOU!

-- Shelly, C.O.C.

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