Payer relations: Make your voice heard

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Q. What is the role of HME trade associations in payer relations efforts?

A. Working with your state/regional association and AAHomecare can help you become more educated and engaged on payer relations issues. These associations represent the collective provider community, and provide input and advocate for HME policy priorities to a wide range of payers. Building relationships with government and commercial payers is a necessary function for associations so that when issues come up and solutions are proposed, there is an existing foundation built to guide the path toward resolution. When an association comes to a payer with suggestions, it is much more impactful than when individual providers act on their own. Collaboration keeps the message consistent and generally produces greater results. 

AAHomecare maintains strong relationships with payers across the country and works closely with state associations who also work directly with these payers. However, associations can’t fight the battle alone. We need our members to be engaged to be successful. It is amazing the impact a provider can make in concert with their association on payer policy. State and regional associations and AAHomecare focus on collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure our message is strong, impactful, and consistent. 

A rising tide raises all ships, so it is important everyone does their part to support our industry’s associations. A strong industry needs strong associations representing them and that is where our entire stakeholder community comes in. It is imperative we stand together to work for better policy at all levels and that starts with membership. If you have already joined, get involved. Strong associations need strong members who are active and engaged. If you don’t like what is going on, then get involved. You need to be involved to have your voice heard and to make a difference. We all experience issues with our payer partners in this business, but we can make a greater impact if we band together and support our state/regional associations and AAHomecare.

David Chandler is director of payer relations for AAHomecare. Reach him at davidc@aahomecare.org.