After defeat, association looks ahead

Thursday, July 31, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS--While efforts to halt Medicaid contracts for incontinence supplies ended in defeat this spring, Indiana providers plan a pre-emptive strike for other product categories.

The Association of Indiana Home Medical Equipment Suppliers (AIHMES) hired a lobbyist in June, said George Kucka, executive director.

“We are going to try and get some legislation passed to make this, if not impossible, at least more difficult to do in the future with other services,” he said.

Indiana first announced plans to competitively bid incontinence, ostomy and urological supplies last summer. In November, the state awarded the contracts to Binson’s Hospital Supplies and J&B Medical Supply-both based in Michigan-and Healthcare Products Delivery in Indiana.

The association has asked Medicaid beneficiaries to alert their former providers if they encounter any issues. AIHMES drafted a form that beneficiaries can fill out detailing those problems which providers will then forward to the association, said Kucka.

“We will try to police the program,” he said.