Box: Manual wheelchairs
Uncertainty reigns: Medicare competitive bidding--especially a requirement that provider bids be placed for power and manual mobility together--is raising questions about how the market will shake out in the aftermath. Providers who wish to continue furnishing mobility equipment through the Medicare program will have to decide whether to adapt to the business model outlined by the bidding process or to refrain from submitting a bid altogether.
Changing channels: HME companies that don't win the bid will have to look at subcontracting Medicare mobility business or sharpening their focus on other sources, such as commercial insurance, private pay and workers' compensation.
On the floor: Manufacturers say they have shaved off as much as they can from their prices and have made their products as cost-effective as possible. Therefore, providers will have to look at money-saving practices such as streamlining inventory and simplifying orders to conserve resources.