State drops proposal for single–source suppliers

Monday, June 30, 2008

POCATELLO, Idaho--After announcing in January that it planned to seek single-source providers for diabetic, incontinence and nutritional supplies for Medicaid beneficiaries, Idaho has changed its mind.

The state had planned to award one three-year contract in each product category, creating an uproar among providers who didn’t hear of the proposals until just days before the comment period ended.

Troy Paz, general manager of Maag Medical in Pocatello, isn’t complaining, but he is curious about the abrupt change of heart.

“My understanding is the department didn’t feel it was the right time, nor a good idea,” he said.
Paz said the Big Sky Medical Equipment Suppliers Association’s grassroots efforts probably helped.

“We met with our legislators, who were very concerned,” he said. “They had a lot of questions (for Medicaid) that were unanswered, such as what the long-term benefits were going to be.”

It’s the small victories like this that keep you going, said Paz.

“You win a small battle, and it keeps you moving forward,” he said. “You keep trudging along thinking you can make a difference.”