Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Future Success Starts with You

A powerful voice in Washington can only come from an informed and active membership base. The American Association for Homecare is proud to represent such a group. In my first three months with AAHomecare, I’ve quickly discovered that the strength, tenacity, and resolve of the people who make up the HME/DME industry is overwhelming – and this does not surprise me in the least. Your response to the trials you face daily to keep your doors open in a volatile regulatory and legislative environment is admirable, if not miraculous. And I’m extremely heartened to say that in an era of what could possibly be one of the most crippling programs providers have ever faced, new companies are joining the American Association for Homecare every week! Despite ominous financial challenges, you understand that membership in your national association is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

With a 120% increase in new member revenue since 2014, the Association is in a position to continue our fight with a stronger collective voice. AAHomecare is also able to hear more narratives from struggling businesses, collect more data, send more providers to Capitol Hill, and work with you to create a better and more stable business environment for the industry moving forward. Your companies, and the patients you serve, deserve no less.

To that end, positive progress has already been realized with the introduction of S. 2736 – which aims to delay the July 1 cuts in non-competitive bidding areas, which will provide relief for homecare providers and patients in these areas. More is expected on several other policy fronts thanks to the relentless efforts of the AAHomecare government relations team actively working its contacts in Washington, and providers like you staying informed, answering requests to call your Representatives and Senators, and providing information on how competitive bidding is affecting your business and your patients. But there is more you can do to help us accomplish our shared goals.
  1. If you are a member not currently serving on an AAHomecare council, I would like to invite you to do so now. We understand people join the Association for many reasons, but one of the most impactful of these is the ability to have a seat at the table, to shape policy—no matter the size of your company! Your opinion can be heard, in very meaningful ways, through council participation. All the while, you will be connecting with thought leaders in the industry, networking, and receiving unmatched access to information on key issues.
  2. I would also ask that you not be shy about telling your colleagues why becoming a member of the American Association for Homecare is crucial to their business’ success. Share with them peer-to-peer not just the member benefits such as professional development opportunities, member discounts, and access to critical business information and Association staff – but also the direct impact they can have on the future success of our efforts on Capitol Hill.
  3. Finally, I encourage you to join us May 25-26 at the Washington Legislative Conference, where you will have access to the industry’s top experts, receive education on key issues facing your business, and learn strategies and tactics we are employing to improve the future for the companies serving the homecare market. You will also have the opportunity to speak personally with your Members of Congress through meetings scheduled with AAHomecare assistance. Never underestimate the power of personal conversation on the Hill!
We are proud to represent companies who roll up their sleeves and join the fight to build a better business environment – and I am personally amazed at the resiliency and passion I’ve heard from members and prospective members alike as I’ve become familiar with their stories over the past 90 days. We know there are brighter days ahead. As the foremost national association leading the charge on policy and advocacy for our industry, AAHomecare is best positioned to make your voice heard. So get involved and encourage others to do the same! 

Together we build the future.

Michael Nicol is the senior director of membership services for AAHomecare. He is available to help members become better connected with the Association through AAHomecare’s councils, member programs and benefits, and answer general questions. Michael also accepts recommendations on potential new members. He can be reached at 
202-372-0749 or michaeln@aahomecare.org.

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