Ditch the excuses

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Despite all the turmoil that has gripped the industry this year, things could be worse. That’s not to minimize competitive bidding and the other challenges that lie ahead. But if you attended recently, as I did, AAHomecare’s Leadership Conference or the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association (NYMEP) annual meeting, you might be feeling a little bit better these days—not great, but a little better.
Both events, to be sure, included plenty of depressing industry news. But they also provided some positive takeaway: Be prepared. Take control. Work together. That resonated with me, especially after some well-placed industry source told me that a lot of providers have decided to throw in the towel. Throw in the towel? You’ve got to be kidding me. If that’s how you’re thinking, it’s time to pull yourself together and get moving. The grieving period is over. Its time to get back to work. Just ask David Kiley.
Kiley, one of the most decorated para-Olympians in the world, kicked off NYMEP’s May meeting with a motivational speech.
“Things are going to happen,” Kiley said. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Life will throw things at you that will rock you to the core.”
How true, and how you handle these curveballs is up to you. You can decide to move forward or be defeated.
If you decide not to move forward—not to join industry efforts to combat flawed Medicare policy or to make your business more efficient—what’s your excuse? If you find yourself making too many excuses, you’re more than likely paving the way for defeat. It’s corny but true: Winners don’t make excuses. They make changes. They adapt to circumstance. You read about people doing this every month in the pages of HME News. They’ve got a plan. They’re moving forward. They are succeeding. If you haven’t yet, it’s time you did more than read about these providers: You should try to learn from them.
During his talk, Kiley told a story about wheelchair users who climbed a mountain. He recounted another about a guy with no arms who won a fishing derby. This guy could bait hooks with his toes!
If Medicare continues to shrink reimbursement, doing business with the program will be a little like that, baiting hooks with your toes. It won’t be easy, but as we now know, it can be done, and done well.