Northwood offers ‘truth’ about NCB

Monday, June 30, 2003

LANSING, Mich. - Approximately 100 business owners, executives and other HME industry personnel turned out for a Northwood conference on national competitive [NCB] bidding May 29.

A primer on the controversial reimbursement mechanism for HME providers, the all-day seminar was billed as an opportunity to listen to the “truth” about national competitive bidding. Northwood recently raised a hue and cry from some sectors of the homecare industry after the provider network began lobbying Congress to craft any competitive bidding program after “successful network models.”

Although Northwood states that it opposes competitive bidding, its decision to engage with Congress on the issue breaks with the prevailing industry sentiment, whereby outright opposition is the strategy.

The Northwood conference was headlined by Mark Wynn, who ran the competitive bidding demonstration projects for CMS, and Cara Bachenheimer, a healthcare attorney who provided a Washington update.

“The thing that struck me the most,” said Ken Fasse, president of Northwood, “is that from their (CMS) vantage point, there was not one horror story ever reported relative to what went on in Polk County and elsewhere.” HME