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Advocating for Quality Care During August Recess

Home Blog Advocating for Quality Care During August Recess

The 2019 congressional August recess is coming to an end, and several groups, associations, care givers, providers, etc. had the opportunity to meet with their members of Congress and staff at a local level to discuss the impact that current pieces of legislation have on their ability to provide quality care to their customers and beneficiaries.

Because most elected officials were back in their own districts, the August recess was a great time for durable medical equipment (DME) advocates to educate their members of Congress on how current healthcare policies impact the consumer and their ability to receive proper care. At the federal level, hot button issues included rural and non-rural reimbursements, the Competitive Bidding Program, and other related bills. At the state level, issues that were discussed included tax exemption, licensure, managed care organizations (MCOs), and Medicaid. Each of these issues directly impacts the ability of the beneficiary to receive proper access to quality care, and that’s why it was crucial for industry advocates to take action during the recess.

Advocates took action in a variety of ways, from visiting their member of Congress’ district office, attending town hall meetings, and scheduling meetings at provider locations. For example, the Colorado DME state association and VGM’s John Gallagher met with the staff of Colorado elected officials to urge them to support a number of bills, including the Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act. This act would increase reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment and oxygen equipment and supplies, which would help rural providers ensure that their customers are receiving access to quality care. Another meeting took place in Wisconsin regarding the same issue, and the group that attended this meeting emphasized that Medicare’s reimbursement cuts have a negative impact on patients receiving medical care, especially in the rural areas.

Another topic that was discussed during these meetings included the Access to Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchair Accessories Act. This legislation would prevent Medicare from implementing major reimbursement cuts to manual complex rehab technology (CRT) accessories. Wheelchairs accessories are crucial for those that rely on wheelchairs for their mobility, and this legislation would make it easier to access those critical components. Throughout the month, VGM’s Tom Powers attended several meetings with many independent complex rehab providers to discuss the importance of passing this legislation in order to protect patient access to CRT accessories that are vital to their mobility.

This year’s congressional August recess was filled with meetings that advocates educated their members of Congress and staff about the importance of passing legislation that improves the ability to receive proper services and supplies for your medical equipment. Even though the recess is coming to an end, you can still make your voice heard! Take action at and let your member of Congress know that you deserve proper access to services and supplies for your equipment.


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