New AAH CEO on bid program: ‘I have a chip on my shoulder’

Friday, August 23, 2013

WASHINGTON – Tom Ryan is not a new name or face—he has been advocating for the HME industry through AAHomecare and his company, Farmingdale, N.Y.-based Homecare Concepts, for years. Ryan, the new president and CEO of AAHomecare, spoke with HME News recently about why he’s so engaged and where he sees HME’s future. 

HME News: How will being a provider affect your leadership of AAHomecare?

Tom Ryan: I know the effects of poor public policy. I’ve been in business 25 years. We bid for 35 contracts and won one. We went from being a major player to trying to get through this alive. Now I’m coming out of a harried, hectic market upturned by competitive bidding and I have a chip on my shoulder, a sense of urgency.

HME: Are you still hopeful that competitive bidding will be replaced by a market-pricing program (MPP)?

Ryan: It’s going to be a difficult process, but we’re making gains on a daily basis. H.R. 1717 is continuing to gain co-sponsors, and the program is starting to have quality issues, discharge delay issues. I know New York is a chaotic mess.

HME: What are your other goals for the association?

Ryan: We need a stronger voice in Washington, D.C., and a more robust membership. People who’ve sat on the sidelines in the past—we need to get them engaged. The demographics for this industry are very, very good. If we can come together to get through this storm, I see very smooth sailing ahead.

HME: What does the industry need to do to get through the storm?

Ryan: We need to become part of the solution. Healthcare providers are starting to be paid based on quality outcomes and patient satisfaction. We need to be part of that discussion. It cannot just be about price compression. It has to be value-based. Home care is something the patients prefer, and it costs less. Why aren’t we at the table?