Association keeps eye on Medicaid

Monday, June 30, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.--National competitive bidding may be all anyone can think about, but the Illinois Association for Medical Equipment Services (IAMES) has Medicaid on its mind.

“When everyone, like The VGM Group, is doing so much to fight competitive bidding, why would we want to make that our focus,” said Alan Kirk, immediate past president of IAMES and vice president of Total Home Health in Elgin.

IAMES officials meet with Medicaid officials on a semi-regular basis. Before each meeting, IAMES e-mails members to ask about their concerns.

The improved IAMES-Medicaid relationship has already made a difference. Medicaid has revamped processing for billing, claims and prior authorizations, said David Doubek, president of the association and president of Doubek Medical Supply in Alsip.

“We’ve realized that we can’t do much about payment, but we can continue to make the process quicker,” he said.

It’s not easy getting members excited about Medicaid issues, but it behooves them to keep tabs on their backyard, Kirk said.

“We want to make sure our providers don’t get hit like providers in other states,” he said. “If the state tries to play around with us, we need to show them we’re not going to just roll over.”