Providers close doors

Friday, August 24, 2012

Round 2 may already be underway, but HME stakeholders continue to make their case against the flawed program.

In July, AAHomecare sent a list of more than 450 businesses that have been impacted by the bidding program to the House Ways and Means Committee. The list, 

compiled with the help of The VGM Group, NAIMES and several other industry associations, was in response to a request in May by Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio.

“It’s a significant number,” said Jay Witter, senior director of government affairs for AAHomecare. “That’s not exclusive. You hear a lot anecdotally. There could be more.”

You won’t get any argument from provider Randy Freeman, who has a street-level view of the Fort Worth-Dallas area, a Round 1 CBA.

“We are seeing providers drop like flies,” said Freeman, owner of Mediwell. “Everyone that was hanging on by their fingernails is now going out of business. I personally know of nine companies that have gone out of business due to competitive bidding.”

That is likely playing out across the country, say 

providers. Provider John Eberhart says talking to providers that won Round 1 contracts has been an “eye-opener.”

“I had a conversation with a company that won the bid for a couple of categories,” said Eberhart, president of Eberhart Home Health in San Clemente, Calif. “She has good business sense and did a lot of things really well, but competitive bidding put her out of business.”