Countdown to Medtrade

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ATLANTA - The predominant worry for HME providers at Medtrade 2011 is no doubt competitive bidding. With the program's intent to winnow down the number of HME providers, many feel like their future in the homecare industry is up in the air.

Providers need incisive answers to their questions about how to proceed. So the Medtrade Educational Advisory Board (EAB), led by healthcare attorney Jeff Baird, created Competitive Bidding Central to help HME providers understand the program's complicated dynamics. Representatives from the EAB, AAHomecare, The VGM Group and The MED Group will all be available for consultation.

Set up in Rooms B407-408 of the Georgia World Congress Center, Baird says organizers felt Competitive Bidding Central deserved its own separate space "because competitive bidding is a game changer." Competitive Bidding Central staff will give up-to-date information on regulations, outline how to submit a bid, talk about what HME companies experienced in Round 1, and detail what a provider can do if it is not awarded a contract.

"However, most of the time will be allotted to allowing attendees to meet with industry experts who can guide them through all of the various aspects of competitive bidding," said Baird, chairman of the healthcare group at the Amarillo, Texas-based law firm Brown & Fortunato.

The majority of questions HME providers have about competitive bidding, Baird said, relate to specifics about licensure and sales/use tax permits in different states. Other issues of concern: how to bid low but still cover costs, and how to subcontract.

Medtrade Show Director Kevin Gaffney says Competitive Bidding Central is the strongest effort yet to support HME providers.

"With the recent announcements regarding Round 2, we knew we had to take action to support our attendees and exhibitors with a full resource of information," he said.