MERIDIAN, ID – With a firm belief that “all politics is local,” Brent Seward started chipping away at local legislators in his home state of Idaho. That passion led to meetings with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and a powerful editorial in the May 5 issue of the Idaho Business Review (click here to read).
“We believe that change in this industry is going to be at a local level,” says Seward, executive vice president, Medical Division, NORCO, Boise, Idaho. “Our members of Congress seem to really want to hear what’s happening from their local businesses—and what is happening to the people of Idaho. I just got involved doing that in the last two years, and I was surprised about how open they were to listening to what we had to say. We’re talking about problems with audits and issues that the industry is struggling with.”
Boise and Nampa are the only two areas currently caught up in the competitive bidding program, and at the very least Seward hopes the program does not expand further into the gem state. “Members of Congress seem to understand that this is not a business in which you can just ship via UPS,” he says. “Patients must understand how to use equipment, maintain it, and know who to call if there’s a problem. Locality is important. It doesn’t take long before legislators understand that these functions can’t be done out of Florida if patients are in Idaho.”
NORCO has about 65 locations in all spanning seven states, with 37 locations devoted to the medical side. As one who helps lead the medical side, Seward stays up on the latest education and technology through regular Medtrade attendance. “Oh yes, I love going to Medtrade,” enthuses Seward. “We typically go to Medtrade Spring. I went this year, and the year before that. We don’t miss it. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the industry.
“I attend educational sessions and get all the political updates,” continues Seward. “It’s a great way to meet other folks in the industry that are going through the same problems that you are, and bond with some people that understand your problems. Medtrade is an opportunity to share ideas and make your business better.”
Running the medical side of Norco takes time and effort, so hobbies are limited, at least at this point. “I like to fish and do a little hunting here and there,” says Seward. “I have four adopted kids, and they are all teenagers at this point. So they keep me pretty busy with all their sporting events and everything like that.”