AMARILLO, TX – We know a few things for certain: 1) we will not be able to stop competitive bidding in the courts; 2) CMS will not delay competitive bidding. Indeed, CMS will do nothing to help the DME industry; 3) the only way to stop competitive bidding is to replace it with the market pricing program (MPP); and 4) while Congress will give modest attention to what DME suppliers are saying, Congress will give a great deal of attention to what Medicare beneficiaries are saying.
Why so much clout for seniors? Because the elderly constitute the largest voting block in the country. Senior citizens vote, and they normally vote in unison.
Our elected officials need the votes of the senior citizens. If the DME industry shares its message on Capitol Hill without major involvement of its patients, then it is tantamount to a person competing in an athletic event with one hand tied behind his back.
With the recent virtual fly-in, the industry shared its patients’ stories. Over and beyond the virtual fly-in, the industry must continue to involve our senior citizens in the fight against competitive bidding.
Medtrade Comes at the Perfect Time
In early October, two events will be in play. First, round two will likely have been in effect for more than three months. Second, our momentum for MPP will be ratcheted up.
Medtrade is the only venue in which four valuable opportunities are offered to DME suppliers. First, the education programs will be excellent and “cutting edge.” The Medtrade Education Advisory Board understands the challenges facing the industry and has put together education programs designed to help suppliers meet these challenges.
Second, AAHomecare will educate the industry regarding everything that is going on in Washington, D.C. Third, the exhibitors will show suppliers the latest products that suppliers can offer to patients. Finally, the opportunity to network is unparalleled. Suppliers can share problems with each other, and more importantly, can share the solutions to problems. Medtrade will give the tools that the suppliers need to help them succeed in the “new normal” that we call the DME industry.
Jeffrey S. Baird, JD, is chairman of the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato, Amarillo, Tex.