Focus remains on competitive bidding reform.

ATLANTA (October 24, 2017)—American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) team members expressed empathy and optimism on day two of Medtrade at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“When I see people going out of business after 30 years, 20 years—second and third generation—it gets to me,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO, AAHomecare, during the organization’s Washington Update on Tuesday morning. “It gets to our team. That’s why we fight every day.”

Ryan said association membership growth has been strong in 2017, and the fight to get additional competitive bidding relief for rural providers is continuing—despite the recent resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price, a reliable champion for the industry. “There is an IFR (interim final rule) sitting over there at OMB (Office of Management and Budget) right now,” he said. “I know we are disappointed (about Price), but we are not out.”

Ryan touted CURES Act legislation that helped some HME providers get hundreds of thousands of dollars returned to them. Meanwhile, the long-term policy focus remains on competitive bidding reform. Ryan added that three meetings in three weeks at HHS have helped to get the message across. “There is an access issue going on,” he said. “The fact that we are losing 40 percent of the industry is devastating.”

Stand Up for Homecare Brings in More Than $50K; Plus Sheehan Earns Advocacy Award
The Stand Up for Homecare reception brought together some of the most influential leaders in the HME community for an evening of networking and celebration, while also honoring the 2017 Van Miller Homecare Champion, Gary Sheehan of Massachusetts-based Cape Medical Supply.

The Stand Up for Homecare campaign promotes a positive image of the HME industry and raises public awareness of homecare’s many benefits. This year’s attendees contributed more than $50K to the cause. Money given fuels the PR campaign and also supports consumer advocacy groups such as United Spinal Association, ITEM Coalition, the National Council on Independent Living, and Paralyzed Veterans of America—organizations that serve many of the HME industry's patients, while also serving as strong allies on legislative and regulatory priorities. 

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—Greg Thompson