With just a few congressional days left in 2015, groups met in Washington D.C. to get some face to face time with key congressional leaders.
Earlier this week Greg Packer of US Rehab and Tom Powers of VGM Government Relations met with over twenty congressional leaders in two busy days. The discussion in all meetings were CRT issues and the expansion to the competitive bidding program.
Today in DC, John Gallagher, Jay Witter and Tom Ryan of AAHomecare are pounding the pavement today. The group will continue the discussions to fix the issues with the expansion of the competitive bidding program.
Elsewhere in the country, in-state meetings and conference calls are being arranged thanks to grassroots efforts.
Last week Norco and Big Sky AMES members met with Sen. Crapo at a fundraising event. Many Big Sky AMES members met at Sen. Daines Missoula office and Rep. Zinke’s office to discuss the rural access issues.
Lastly…over 1600 messages have been sent to senators asking them to sign on to S.2312. Great job everyone. Please continue with these grassroots efforts!
On Monday afternoon a group of suppliers and Vice President of CAMES, Doug Coleman, met with a highly influential member of Congress, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). The meeting was to convey the importance of S. 2312 and the introduction of the companion bill in the House when it is introduced. The Congresswoman is a high ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which is extremely important to the likelihood of the bill passing through Congress. Rep. DeGette was very supportive of the concept and was pleased to know the bill had been thoroughly planned out. Providers discussed just how crucial these reimbursement rates are to urban and rural areas as Denver has seen a steep drop in the number of providers in the metro, which left a sense of urgency for a legislative solution with the Congresswoman. Great work CAMES and those that were able to attend the meeting!
Peaks & Plains Medical hosted a wonderful event with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers at their Spokane, Washington office. Yesterday, over a dozen providers across the state were able to attend which was a strong showing of support to direct towards the Congresswoman. With this support Rep. McMorris-Rodgers took great interest in signing on to the H.R. 3229 CRT bill, which will exclude CRT accessory items from competitive bidding. A big shout-out to those in attendance for showing just how important these issues are to the industry!
Vice President of Peaks & Plains, Leigh McNellis, reports back that the Congresswoman was very supportive about the issues that providers had brought to her. “Washington Providers were given a renewed sense of hope to have Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’ support on keeping access to medical equipment and supplies to rural Washington clients with an engaging discussion of the issues at hand,” said McNellis.
Successful Event in Indiana for Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN)
The building of a coalition to support the DMEPOS industry is growing well as Rep. Buschon was in attendance at Williams Brothers Healthcare Pharmacy in Washington, Indiana. The Congressman asked wonderful questions along the way as providers discussed competitive bidding, and audit problems coming from CMS. Rep. Buschon was quite concerned with the threat that providers are facing with these cuts. At the meeting, the Congressman agreed to be helpful on all issues and said he would reach out to Congressman Price’s office to support the up-coming bidding relief bill. The Congressman was a cardiothoracic surgeon prior to his election to Congress. With a doctors knowledge of just how the health system operates is also another great asset to have to the industry’s initiatives!
Congrats to both Williams Brothers, Peaks and Plains, Great Lakes State Association and PAMES for hosting successful events!
VGM had the honor and privilege of a visit from U.S. Rep Dave Loebsack (D-IA-2) on Wednesday. He met with Mike Mallaro, CFO of VGM, John Gallagher, VP of Government Relations, and Tom Powers of Government Relations.
Congressman Loebsack was one of the first to sign on to H.R. 284. He has always listened to the concerns of the DME industry and has supported all of our efforts to make changes
Tom Ryan and Robert Steedley of AA Homecare braved Iowa’s cold temps to visit with their allies at VGM to discuss priorities, strategies and action plans for 2015. The feeling is mutual that there is great potential for movement in our direction this first quarter of the 114th Congress. In order to see any changes for the betterment of the medical industry, our messages need to be concise and unified.