Industry to CMS: Let’s learn to trust

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Medtrade kicked off with an all-star industry panel that was informative and insightful in outlining the areas the industry must focus on to be successful in 2009 and beyond.

The panelists included industry executives Georgie Blackburn (Blackburn’s), Alan Landauer (Landauer Metropolitan), Cara Bachenheimer (Invacare), John Miclot (Respironics) and Scott Meuser (Pride Mobility).

The panel concurred that eliminating/modifying competitive bidding was a main focal point. They also agreed that proactively working with the new administration and Congress to strengthen anti-fraud efforts will be essential.

A common theme echoed throughout the event was the need to rectify the government’s mistrust of the industry and create a partnership based on mutual trust with the new administration.
The opportunities to move toward this new paradigm are significant under the Obama administration with the appointment of a new secretary of Health and Human Services and administrator of CMS. This provides a real opportunity to collaborate and educate them on the products and services provided to beneficiaries in their homes and communities, along with the industry’s value proposition.

A second theme that resonated from the panel was the need to become more economically efficient. Panelists noted that providers should evaluate all costs within their business models to maximize efficiencies. One way to do that is through consolidating purchasing agreements and selecting a primary manufacturer to maximize savings based on increased volume.

The panelists agreed that the future holds significant opportunities if we remain focused on building strong relationships, creating a common message and working to advance reasonable goals.

Seth Johnson, vice president, government affairs, Pride Mobility Products, and vice chair of AAHomecare’s Rehab and Assistive Technology Council