Competitive bidding takes center stage

Thursday, May 31, 2007

BOSTON - With competitive bidding threatening to overhaul how providers conduct business, organizers of the HME Business Summit are putting the finishing touches on a program that, not surprisingly, keys on working inside the new parameters. The third annual Summit is scheduled for Sept. 9-11 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, Mass.
Here's a preview of this year's program.
* HME News has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the reimbursement dollars paid by Medicare to suppliers in each of the top-10 MSAs, for the top products subject to competitive bidding. These figures won't help HME suppliers preparing bids today, but they'll provide a foundation for those readying bids in scores of additional MSAs next year.
Wallace Weeks, president of Melbourne, Fla.-based Weeks Group, will crunch the data for this presentation. He'll also lead a panel discussion on the second day of the conference with HME suppliers bidding in this first round of competitive bidding.
* The conference will introduce a new set of financial benchmarks for providers--the first fresh set of data on the subject (i.e. what is the payor mix of the typical HME) in years. Tim Pontius, a former AAHomecare chair, now a managing director at Tarpon Springs, Fla.-based Steven Richards & Associates (SRA), will lead this session.
* Belkis Alvarez, a Miami-based consultant, and Chris Parella, an attorney from the Law Offices of Anthony Vitale, will advise suppliers on how to develop winning competitive bidding networks.
* As a 'Summit,' a gathering of the industry's best and the brightest, the 2007 program will reprise its hugely successful workshop series, led by Dexter Braff, president of the Pittsburgh-Pa.-based Braff Group.
* Another hugely popular session in 2006 was Tom Williams' exploration of the oxygen cap's consequences. In 2007, Williams will be back with new survey data on home oxygen therapy.
* Also to be unveiled at this year's Summit: Perhaps the most comprehensive collection of oximetry data ever pulled together, in a session under development by Mickey Letson of Letco Medical.
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