LOVELAND, CO – The CEO of Colorado-based Major Medical Supply has made many trips to Washington, DC, over the last decade, and he takes pride in the fact that six of Colorado’s seven Congressional members have signed on to support HR 1717. However, the latest co-sponsor, Rep Diana DeGette (D-Colo), was largely brought home through the efforts of others.
“All I did was forward AAHomecare materials to Susan Kennedy, territory manager at Numotion,” says Doug Coleman (pictured), who also serves as president of the Colorado Association of Medical Equipment Services (CAMES) in addition to his leadership role with Major Medical. “She took it from there.”
The 56-year-old Coleman has been in the industry since 1988, and he acknowledges that recent years have been particularly difficult. Regarding competitive bidding, he says, “We bid responsibly and did not win any contracts. I am in the process of acquiring a small company that got the oxygen contract in Denver, and that should be wrapped up in the next 30 days or so.”
Competitive bidding had not affected five of Coleman’s eight locations until he received an unwelcome missive from a major insurer in the Rocky Mountain state. “We received a take-it-or-leave-it letter from Anthem/Blue Cross that essentially matched the competitive bidding rates,” he laments. “You either sign on or you’re done.”
Throughout the entire competitive bidding process, the most irritating aspect for Coleman is that CMS has essentially ignored its own rules. “In Colorado, the data indicates that over half the contract winners have not provided one product under the contract between July 1 and today,” he says. “They were not set up and ready as is required by the contract. They are continuing to contact me and other providers to try to find subcontractors. And the subcontracting program is a non starter. It is a joke.”
Coleman is a married father of two children, now in their 20s, and while his free time is limited, he likes to get out on the water (frozen or otherwise) whenever he can. “I am an avid skier, both water and snow,” he says. “I skied while I was at Medtrade last month—the Monday before the show started and the final Thursday. We were out there on a six-buoy water course with a 10-time world champion on his private lake only 10 minutes from the convention center in Orlando. That was awesome.”