See—miracles do happen

Friday, August 23, 2013

We had a great response to a webcast on how to snag private-pay contracts on July 25—a real testament to how many HME providers out there are trying to diversify their businesses away from traditional Medicare.

There’s nothing like a competitive bidding program hitting 91 cities and a reimbursement reduction of 45% to light a fire under you know what.

In an hour-long webcast with 13 slides, speaker Stephen Hodges, a strategic business development consultant for HME Solution, barely had time to scratch the surface on what can be a complicated and intimidating market. He said he once flew to Chicago to give a presentation to a group of providers that lasted six hours and had more than 70 slides.

But if you attended the webcast (if you didn’t, it’s still available on demand), you’re definitely off to a good start.

There were many things that Hodges shared in the webcast that I found useful, but none more useful this: National providers don’t necessarily control the private-pay market.

Providers often ask me, how am I, a smaller provider, supposed to compete with a national provider to get a contract with a private-pay insurer?

Well, it ain’t easy, but it’s possible.

Hodges shared an anecdote about a provider that was able to get a private-pay contract after Round 1 of competitive bidding because a national provider turned all of its focus on the bidding program, dropping the ball on the private-pay contract. The private-pay insurer did not like this one bit and, in turn, dropped the national provider.

Hodges also shared an anecdote of another provider that provided such good service in a pinch to a private-pay insurer in a local market that the insurer gave it a contract in a larger market.

See—miracles do happen!

This webcast was a great primer for a session we’ll have at the HME News Business Summit, Sept. 8-10 at the Four Seasons in St. Louis. Speaker Mike Sperduti will take this whole idea of snagging a private-pay contract to the next level by sharing what you need to do once you do get a contract. How do you get the referrals? Even better, how do you become the preferred provider?

Sperduti has asked insurers and referral sources these questions on your behalf, and he’ll share the results during his presentation at the Summit.

So go on. Get a contract and learn how to take advantage of it.