AAH forms medical supplies council

Sunday, October 23, 2005

ATLANTA - With competitive bidding on the horizon, members of the medical supplies community have banded together with AAHomecare to form a medical supplies council. The AAH board of directors officially approved the council at Medtrade on Oct. 19.
The council will allow suppliers of diabetes, urologicals, ostomy and incontinence to address issues of importance that impact supply providers only. Already onboard are industry heavyweights Invacare, Byram Healthcare, MP TotalCare, McKesson, LogiMedix, Sterling Medical and Coloplast.
"It was clear supplies have not gotten the recognition that other industries have gotten," said Ray Noecker, CEO of Byram. "Supplies is a $5 billion or $6 billion industry. For all that size, rarely does the industry association spend a lot of time thinking about supply issues."
Immediate focus is on competitive bidding and CMS' proposed quality standards, but the council intends to address any issues that affect the supply industry, including reimbursement inconsistencies, wound care documentation issues, low ostomy reimbursement levels and various state Medicaid issues.
At an informational session held Oct. 18 at Medtrade, AAHomecare CEO Kay Cox said the council will allow AAH to better serve members.
"If something comes up, we flag it," said Cox. "When you find yourself up against a wall in Washington, that's not the time to start to be proactive."