LOS ANGELES – As the only independent HME provider from California to make the trip to AAHomecare’s Legislative Conference this year, Diana Guth, RRT, believes in doing her part. “It is easy to get disillusioned with government, and I am not immune,” says Guth, owner of Los Angeles-based Home Respiratory Care. “But I support AAHomecare, and I think they are doing an excellent job. They are working hard, and I’m glad to see the stakeholders in charge.”
Guth has focused on sleep medicine and non-invasive ventilation for the past 19 years from her 2,500-sq-ft location in the heart of West Los Angeles. Like so many urban areas, the effect of competitive bidding has been “devastating” in southern California, leading Guth to scale down the business and constantly search for creative ways to contract with managed care.
“It’s the wild west out here with health care,” muses Guth. “I hired a consultant to help get managed care contracts, but many managed care companies were not interested in specialized small companies, so I got a lot of rejections. The prices they offered were insulting.
“I won’t compromise on a patient’s care,” she continues. “I won’t accept fees that don’t allow me to give the respiratory care associated with the equipment. I simply won’t do it. They are not asking for outcomes on CPAP patients—they are only asking about price.”
Guth is no stranger to traveling, and she regularly attends Medtrade Spring, and occasionally Medtrade. “Especially these days, I go to Medtrade because I want to identify new products that help me stay above water,” she says. “At the last Medtrade, I did find something excellent outside of competitive bidding, but I won’t say what it is [laughs] because I don’t want anyone else selling it. If you don’t go to Medtrade, you can’t find these products.”