HME News TV: Be ready to compete

Friday, June 22, 2012

What should providers be doing now that they’ve submitted their bids for Round 2 of competitive bidding? Getting back to work, says Wayne Grau, vice president of sales for The MED Group.

“A lot of folks are taking a let’s wait and see what’s happening—we think, really, that’s a bad move to make,” he told HME News TV recently. “Now’s the time that they can change their businesses.”

In the upcoming months, Grau will be traveling the country to share five ways that he believes providers can do just that.

#1 Replace revenue

Providers need to determine how much revenue they think they’re going to lose when competitive bidding kicks off in the summer of 2013. “That’s the goal—that’s what you need to replace in the next few months,” Grau said. A good place for providers to start: Maximizing and enhancing everything they’re already doing, he said. “Is your supply program the best it can be; do you have the best retail sales people out there?” Grau said. “Are you educating consumers about what’s available and getting them to purchase more?”

#2 Diversify revenue

Grau sums this one up this way: “Don’t walk away from Medicare and Medicaid, run and run fast.” Providers need to look at not only other payers but also other products. “If you’re a rehab company, why not look at wound care?” he said. “Maybe you didn’t do it in the past, because you needed to focus on being a great rehab company, but it presents a way to diversify your business and own that customer and not allow your competition to come in and take revenue away from you.”

#3 Control operational costs

Grau suggests that providers take a long, hard look at how they can take “touches” out of their operations. “If you have human touch, 1.) costs go up and 2.) mistakes can be made,” he said. “So are there ways to automate your system and really create a smooth process?”

For #4 and #5, watch Grau’s interview with HME News TV at

Providers need not be daunted by the task at hand, Grau said.

“It’s not a giant leap; giant leaps don’t work,” he said. “We’re talking about making small incremental change over the next few months. The next thing you know, your company is ready to compete.”