With our many Blogs over the past year, we’ve been very clear about our trials and tribulations related to bringing The SHOWER SHIRT product to market, strategizing to keep it on the market, while also fighting with the bureaucrats in Washington DC.
We’ve all heard the term, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well even in a perfect world, the squeaky wheel can become quite annoying at times, and why being “squeaky” was another balancing act of our doing business. From the beginning, U.S. Congressman Bill Posey and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson stood behind the need for Medicare coverage for our product. However, writing a letter of support and actually taking a stance is two different attributes. I will always be indebted to my good friend Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos who helped snag a meeting directly with Congressman Posey’s office to discuss our ongoing endeavor to attain Medicare coverage for shower coverings for breast cancer patients.
After our initial meeting with Congressman Posey, and a subsequent trip to Washington D.C. to meet with VP Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff, and both U.S. Congressman Bill Posey and U.S. Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s teams, legislation was finally filed for the ‘shower covering’ initiative for breast cancer patients.
Photo of Moe Vela, myself, and husband, David (Phil) – in VP Biden’s office.
On Friday, May 9, 2014, bipartisan legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to help aid breast cancer patients in their recovery following surgical procedures. The Post-Mastectomy Infection Reduction Act (H.R. 4627) authorizes Medicare to also extend this coverage for breast cancer patients when it is determined to be medically necessary to reduce the risk of infection.
Whew!! After a five year battle, we finally had political support for ‘shower coverings’ for breast cancer surgery patients. So what’s the obvious moral of this story? DON’T GIVE UP!! Keep pushing and pushing until someone listens. Be the squeaky wheel, but remember to always manage the noise.
To celebrate our victory, I wrote a guest column for FLORIDA TODAY on why it is essentially taking an act of Congress to keep women out of trash bags when showering after mastectomy surgery.
Guest column: Medicare Reimbursement Battle Progresses
Lisa F. Crites
Shower Shirt Principal/Inventor
Corporate Healthcare Consultant
Health/Medical Broadcast Journalist