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December 11, 2019

OMEPA end of the Year Summary:

The DME providers of Oklahoma had a successful year in 2019 through the state association known as OMEPA. It has been an overwhelming success story. Last January, OMEPA submitted a bill requesting the removal of the sales tax requirement for prescription items and added clarification to the Oklahoma tax language. Many had said to us, “that is impossible, and your bill will be dead upon arrival."

However, a group of OMEPA members refused to accept defeat – with nonstop efforts of storming the Capitol building weekly, they managed to rally the support of a few of our outstanding state Representatives and Senators to stand with us. The OMEPA team pulled off the unbelievable, and received the final approval with Governor's signature for House Bill 1262 on May 28, 2019.    

We were honored with a ceremonial signing of the tax law changes at the state Capitol building with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on July 9, 2019. Also present were our House and Senate champions of the bill, Rep. Kyle Hilbert, Rep. Justin Humphrey and Sen. James Leewright. With this tax relief for prescription items, there is no “sales tax" on medical equipment items that are used in the home, regardless of the pay source, as long as there is a physician's prescription for the item. 

The tax exemption for prescription items took effect on July 1, 2019, but is not retroactive on taxes you may have previously paid.

 

The Oklahoma Tax Commission updated their website on tax exemptions in June of 2019, and stated enforcement of new language for the tax changes and their implementation. The actual wording from the Oklahoma Tax Commission Websiteis as follows: (Source: https://www.ok.gov/tax/documents/2019%20Tax%20Legislation.pdf)

 

“HB 1262 -Effective July 1, 2019HB 1262 amends 68 O.S. §1357.6, exempting from the sales tax levy, sales of medical equipment including prosthetic devices, durable medical equipment and mobility enhancing equipment when administered, distributed or prescribed by a practitioner, who is authorized by law to administer, distribute or prescribe such items. HB 1262 amends the definition of durable medical equipment by adding the qualifying condition that this type of equipment be used in the home. It further adds allopathic physician and clinical nurse specialist to those qualifying as a “practitioner" for purposes of the state sales tax exemption in 68 O.S. §1357.6."

 

As your OMEPA president, I would like to personally thank our outstanding 2018 & 2019 OMEPA board members, as well as a few other OMEPA members, for their dedication and sacrifice in seeing this through to the finish line. The number of hours spent and the costs involved in traveling and other expenses came not from OMEPA's pockets, but from the pockets of individuals who had the compassion to give and help the entire DME industry. We truly respect the wisdom and support from the VGM team in making it possible every single step of the way, especially in those dark hours when the light grew dim.

 

Taking place January 1, 2020 through January 1, 2022, OMEPA has a new beginning with a few new board members. We welcome our new OMEPA Board Members, as follow:

 

Voting Board Members:

  • President, (reinstated): Larry Daltonof Advanced Care Medical Equipment in Durant
  • Vice President, (outgoing Victor Clay) replaced withnew appointed,Steve Asbury of National Seating and Mobility in Oklahoma City
  • Treasurer, (reinstated): Randy Taylorof Medical Equipment Affiliate in Tahlequah
  • Secretary, (outgoing Katie Roberts): replace with new appointed,Vanessa Kehlof Wheelchair & Seating Clinic in Oklahoma City &Tulsa
  • Membership Chair: (outgoing/deceasedJosh M. Drake):replace with new appointed, Jami Allingtonof Integris Medical Supply in Oklahoma City
  • Communications Chair, (outgoing Larry Pierce):replace with new appointed, Katie Robertsof Cimarron Medical Services in Stillwater
  • Legislative Chair, (outgoing Steve Asbury): replace with new appointed, Mike Harrisof Action Seating & Mobility in Tulsa
  • Event Chair, (a new board position):newly appointed,Helen Woitchekof Norman Regional DME in Norman
  • Associate DME Chair, (reinstated): Kelly Kicklighterof Ventilate OK in Oklahoma City
  • Associate DME Chair, (outgoing Keli Metz):  Board position removed

 

Non-Voting Advisory Board Members:(two new one-year term board members added)

  • Board Member, (reinstated): Jay Kopriva with The VGM Group in Waterloo Iowa
  • Board Member (one-year term): new appointed,KC Cobb with Respironics
  • Board Member (one-year term): new appointed, Bridget Roush with Revsuppliance in Oklahoma City

 

This updated roster will take effect on January 1, 2020, with the first board meeting to be conducted on January 14. OMEPA's website will be updated with board members' telephone numbers, company name, mailing and email addresses, pictures, and biographies around January 1. I am excited to see our state association grow, and to work with each of you and the new ideas and talents that you bring to our organization.

 

This coming year of 2020, there will be three scheduled OPEN OMEPA board meeting for all members to listen in and/or participate, taking place in March, June, and September. There will always be a general assembly meeting of the OMEPA membership at the OMEPA Annual Fall Conference, where we will personally update our members and provide an open floor for discussions and planning. To find out more about our open meetings and schedules, keep in touch at our OMEPA website, www.OMEPAok.com.

 

2020 Goals:

1. Double the size of our membership base with Oklahoma DME providers.

2. Prepare key legislative proposals to safeguard the HME industry in Oklahoma.

3. Continue working with state officials in developing a fair and accurate Medicaid plan.

4. Continue to develop communication bridges between state and federal officials.

5. Develop an outreach network among different proponents of our Oklahoma Health Industry.

 

If you would like to become an OMEPA member and unite with friends that know your problems and struggles within this industry, then please join us today by calling a board member or visiting our website for an application.  If you are an active 2020 member and not receiving monthly emails, please notify our new Communications Chair, Katie Roberts of Cimarron Medical Services in Stillwater.

 

In closing, I would like for you to accept my apology for not distributing your 2019 membership certificates in a timely manner; we hope to do better.  Enclosed, you will find your 2019 membership certificates. We respectfully request that you submit payment for your 2020 membership, and assure that your certificate will be put in the mail immediately.

 

Thank you for your support!

 

Larry Dalton

OMEPA President

 

 

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