by Tom Ryan
ATLANTA – For those of you who were among the throng of attendees, exhibitors, and presenters at last month’s Medtrade show in Atlanta: thank you for sharing your passion and expertise with your fellow HME leaders. I am always energized by the people I connect with at Medtrade, whether they’re old friends or new acquaintances. Perhaps some of that extra energy came from providers who were relieved to finally have the bidding process for Round 2021 behind them.
This year, I was struck by the number of people who told me that we need to put AAHomecare on a steeper growth trajectory, echoing a sentiment I’ve shared in various forums in recent years, including this year’s AAHomecare Update. As is customary in that session, we highlighted some of our recent accomplishments, including federal legislative and regulatory wins that put money – to the tune of $1.8. billion – back into suppliers’ pockets after two decades of cuts. We also recounted state-level wins from our payer relations team, including convincing nearly 30 states to forgo or limit potential Medicaid rate cuts stemming from provisions in the 2016 CURES Act.
We’re proud of what a staff of thirteen individuals (including just seven directly involved in public policy) and a $3.5 million budget can accomplish – but I think of what we could achieve with $5 million and more resources for staff and support from lobbying, regulatory, and research consultants.
Of course, our policy successes are also fueled by the participation of HME leaders who serve on our councils and take up the challenge to develop relationships and engage their federal and state legislators. The hundreds of individuals who have served in these capacities have helped us establish tremendous credibility for HME on Capitol Hill, in State Houses, and with CMS and HHS. The state and regional HME association executives and presidents/chairs who serve on our State Leaders Council are some of the most prominent and effective of these advocates and are a tremendous asset. But again, I think of what we could accomplish with a larger membership base and more leaders and HME experts to take part in these efforts.
Some of the individuals who most strongly believe we need to grow the Association have backed up that sentiment by guiding and funding enhanced, research-driven messaging, branding and member recruitment efforts to kickstart our efforts – and even to directly recruit new provider members and corporate sponsors. We’ll be sharing more about this group’s great work and how you can support it in upcoming editions of Wednesday in Washington.
The fact that more and more individuals are taking an active role growing the Association – and that so many individuals also shared that sentiment with me at Medtrade – shows we’re on the right track. Thanks for your terrific support – and get ready to grow!
Is Your Company Participating in the Appropriate Dues Category?
While we’re on the subject of growing AAHomecare to bring home even more policy wins for our industry, we urge current members to take a look at their current revenues derived from HME and make sure that they correspond to your AAHomecare membership dues category. We greatly appreciate the support of our members who have increased their dues level commensurate with their financial performance, and we will continue to put your dues dollars to work in every way possible to improve the business climate for our industry.
We’ve recently sent out invoices for 2020 for companies on the January-December dues cycle. If you’re not sure of what dues level your company is currently under or need more information, please contact AAHomecare senior director of membership Mike Nicol at email@example.com.
Tom Ryan is president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare.
Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman Publishes Report on Bidding Program for 2012-2016
Earlier this month, the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO) published the Report to Congress on CBP stakeholder concerns. The CAO publishes a report annually to Congress, but the reports have not been publicly available since FY 2011. Due to this, this most recent report combines FY 2012- 2016.
This new report highlights beneficiary access issues such as: difficulty locating contract suppliers, difficulty obtaining liquid oxygen, and difficulty obtaining timely DME. The report also reveals that between FY 2012-2016, there were 741,056 inquiries through 1-800-Medicare and of that 633 complaints were escalated to CMS. The complaint reasons included: timeliness of delivery, locating a contract supplier, and quality of the products.