Atlanta, GA - Earlier this week, the Accredited Medical Equipment Providers of America introduced a Patient Advocacy Line at Medtrade. Referred to as "PAL", the Patient Advocacy Line is a toll free way for patients and caregivers to speak to legislators about their need for quality home medical equipment and timely services.
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For years the industry asked for patients to contact their legislators about important Home Medical Equipment issues by calling the Capital Hill Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121. But the traditional method requires beneficiaries to make a long distance call and that has been problematic for a variety of reasons.
A primary obstacle is that many senior citizens have restrictions on their telephones and cannot make long distance calls. Others are unsure how long the call may last and are unsure of the cost involved. The Capital Hill Switchboard requires the caller to wait for an operator to connect the call to their specific Member of Congress. If the caller is unsure of the member, the switchboard operator tries to figure it out by asking for the callers address. That alone may take a few minutes and many seniors have been unwilling to pay a few dollars to make that long distance call.
The PAL is a toll free number which prompts the patient to enter their zipcode. They are instantly given a list of local legislators to choose from and are automatically connected to their member's office quickly, without any fees.
AMEPA demonstarted the PAL to attendees, who stopped by their Medtrade booth. AMEPA's Rob Brant said that the PAL was developed after reading about a similar toll free system used by the American Medical Association.
Brant explained, "I was visiting a physician's office and noticed a flyer about the AMA's Patient Advocacy Line. There is an entire section devoted to the initiative on their website. I figured if the most respected association in healthcare uses it, it must get results."
To gain awareness for the program, AMEPA distributed flyers that providers can give patients during initial set-ups, deliveries, repairs or maintenance calls. They also gave out 3 inch buttons which read: "Ask me about Competitive Bidding PAL"
To learn more about the Patient Advocacy Line visit CompetitiveBiddingPAL.com or click the icon below.
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