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Update: July 18, 2017

Senate Letter goes to HHS/CMS – Arizona goes 1 for 2

In an amazing short period of time, along with it being the July 4th holiday, the HME industry was successful in getting close to half of the Senate – 49 - signed on to the letter authored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). The letter with signatures has gone to HHS/CMS.

The Senate response in the southwest states was disappointing with only Arizona bringing a Senator on to sign the letter – Senator John McCain. More proof that these surrounding states need to be a part of an active association like SWMESA!

The final tally and map is below:

Final signature map for Senate Letter



Click here for the full list of all the Senators who signed on.

What’s next?

CMS is expected to be releasing information about the 2019 competitive bidding program. When that information is released, it is expected to give the industry an idea of the next steps. Regardless, we need to continue to meet with our Senators and Representative(s) during the August break in order to keep them engaged.

SWMESA is recommending that SWMESA members work to get meetings set up over the August recess – either schedule meet and greets or site visits. Members of Congress August calendars fill up in a hurry, so we recommend working to get a meeting scheduled as soon as possible. If you need any assistance in putting the meeting together, please feel free to contact the SWMESA office, info@swmesa.com, ph. 218-464-5169. If you have a meeting scheduled, please let us know as well.

Let’s build upon the tremendous momentum from the Midwest of making our congressional leaders aware that we need their help! What better way than to get them face-to-face in your community to show that you are the answer to lowering costs in healthcare!



Update: July 21, 2016

Tools for SWMESA Members
Whether you are in round 1, 2 or in rural America, competitive bidding is impacting the entire country! In an effort to draw attention to the drastic cuts based on a flawed program, SWMESA is asking EVERY SWMESA MEMBER to engage your customers, family caregivers, clinicians, your referral sources, the media, etc., about the issues related to these massive cuts. Here are the tools:
Ø Engage your local media - The link is to a media resource guide that provides valuable information on how to engage your local media in raising awareness of the issues.
Ø Send outa press release:
· Click here for a Word document that you can edit and place on your letterhead.
· The Press Release has links in the document (highlighted in blue) that provides additional information including the latest Medicare spending chart.
· If members of the press contact you, here are other valuable resources/information you can share with them:
o Respiratory: Share article “Medicare Cuts Will Disproportionately Harm COPD Patients”, By Michael Fleming, MD FAAFP.
o Diabetes: Share that a leading scientific journal published a study finding that this program has caused adverse health outcomes, including increased hospitalization and death, of diabetic Medicare beneficiaries nationwide.
Ø Have customers sign a Petition to send to Congress: SWMESA has heard from several members that customers will either pay out of pocket because of the hassle to go through Medicare or they go without equipment/supplies needed if they do have to pay for the items up front. These customers will never show up on CMS reports. Therefore, ask your Medicare beneficiaries who are being impacted by the program to sign the Petition that calls upon Congress to intervene.

Every staff member who has contact with the Medicare customer/family member needs to have this Petition with them to have the Medicare beneficiaries sign it. Fax the petition to the SWMESA office at: 651-351-0391.
Ø Call or visit website - People for Quality Care: People for Quality Care is helping organize and amplify the voices of beneficiaries, family caregivers, and clinicians to Congress. Their website has requests to Take Action on the Medicare cuts.
Ø Send a letter to Congress – continue to reach out to your members of congress and tell them the impact this program is having on your customers.
If you need help on any of these items or if you have other tools you would like to see, please let the SWMESA office know: info@swmesa.com.


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