MAMA tries to raise medical monitoring's profile
BROOMALL, Pa.--The Medical Alert Monitoring Association, or "MAMA," will officially hold its first meeting on March 28, at this year's ISC West convention in Las Vegas. Ken Gross, of Connect America Medical Alarm Company, and president of the newly created MAMA, said the impetus for starting the association was "to share ideas ... none of us [original members] were in competition with each other."
The founding members of the board are Gross; Christopher Baskin of American Two-Way in North Hollywood, Calif.; Richard Brooks of Health Watch in Cherry Hill, N.J.; Daniel Oppenheim of LifeStation in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Howard Feldman, of Pioneer Emergency Response in Solana Beach, Calif.; Blane Comeaux, of Acadian Monitoring services in Lafayette, La.; Arthur Hoffman of Vital-Link in Berkeley, Calif.; and Richard Bangerter of Rescue Alert in South Jordan, Utah.
"We got together in Chicago last June and discussed possibly putting some efforts into lobbying for Medicare reimbursements," said Gross. "PERS [Personal Emergency Response Systems] is all private-pay now. We were looking for a bigger opportunity with Medicare. If we're going to do any lobbying we really had to be an official organization with bylaws." To this end, Les Gold, of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, came on board as legal counsel to MAMA and incorporated the association and wrote up their by-laws last year.
Gross said that anyone in the medical alert business is eligible to join the nascent organization, and stressed reasons why they should: "We'll keep our members updated on technology--it's changing such that besides just monitoring people for medical emergencies, there's also now "telehealth" [where a medical alert company monitors such things as the blood pressure of their clients, for example]--networking with other industry professionals, and providing them with tips for their business. Whatever comes up in normal everyday situations."
Why have the first meeting at ISC West? "We [the founding members] have been meeting there the past few years, and it's also strategic--everyone's there. I go to ISC anyway because once it's in your blood, you can't get it out," said Gross.
To learn more about MAMA, including details about joining the organization, visit www.medicalalertmonitoringassociation.com.
For more on this story, see the April issue of Security Systems News.