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KY And TN Suppliers And The DME Community Emergency Response Team Met With CMS, FEMA, And Other Federal Groups Discussing The Tornados In KY And TN

Yesterday, medical equipment suppliers in Kentucky and Tennessee attended a virtual meeting discussing the tornados that ripped through Kentucky and Tennessee in December. The meeting was assembled by Tangita Daramola, Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman, and the VGM Government Relations team.  


Suppliers from Kentucky and Tennessee were able to voice their concerns regarding needs and difficulties during the December tornados with representatives from FEMA, Office of the Assistant Secretary with Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Small Business Administration (SBA), CGS, and CMS’s Office of Program Operations and Local Engagement (OPOLE). Also attending the meeting was the DME Community Response Team consisting of DME state association leaders, as well as Kim Brummett of AAHomecare and John Gallagher and Emily Harken of VGM. 

Emergency Preparedness Committee Members Includes: Victoria Peterson - TexMEP​, Caitlin Houck - MNCHA​, Larry Dalton - OMEPA​, Beth Bowen - ACMESA/ATHOMES/NEMEP/FAHCS​, Bob Achermann - CAMPS​, Rose Schafhauser - MAMES/SWMESA​, Mike Calcaterra - Big Sky AMES/PAMES, Chris Townsend- FAHCS, Kim Brummett – AAHomecare, John Gallagher and Emily Harken of VGM. The goal of this group is to bring awareness to federal and state emergency management groups of the need for breathing and mobility devices during a natural disaster, as well as to put together a roadmap or toolkit for DME suppliers to follow in these emergency situations. 

Much of the discussion during the meeting included billing and reimbursement concerns during and after a disaster and as well as additional expenses incurred by suppliers. 

This meeting was a great steppingstone for an end goal of improved processes and clear guidance and policies for DME suppliers during an emergency. The DME Community Emergency Response team is looking forward to continuing to educate the federal groups on all the distresses and invaluable services DME suppliers provide during and after a disaster. The groups intent is to make solid changes for suppliers in future disasters and broaden awareness with federal groups. 

Thanks to all who participated in the meeting!