Letters to the editor: A challenge to the industry

Monday, July 25, 2011

We all worry about Medicare cuts and regulations, but we often seem to neglect the importance of risks to Medicaid funding. In each state, there are many issues HME providers have to overcome and individual companies are not always effective when trying to cope with and resolve all of these. This is where your state association comes in.

A strong central voice is needed and that comes from your state HME association. Therefore, I am issuing a challenge to the industry. I am asking every current member of their state and national association to please call the providers they know who are not members and encourage them to become members.

My goal is to bring close to 100% of HME providers together to join forces with their state and national associations.

If every HME provider would be a participant in his or her state association there would be sufficient power to influence politicians—not only for you but also for every one of your customers.

Our industry does not have the same capability to obtain funding the AMA, AHA or the pharmaceutical companies get. However, we do have a secret weapon! It is the ability to influence votes. Votes keep politicians in office. Your good relationships with your patients, family caregivers and customers are valuable. You and your employees are a positive influence to them as they are voters. They face the same problems you do and will welcome and appreciate your guidance. When your voice is heard in a collaborative way, it will be louder and clearer. That is why state association membership is critical.

If you are not a member, join now! The future of your company is at risk.

Sheldon "Shelly" Prial, shelly.prial@att.net