We do the right thing every single time

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I read, once again, an article in your trade magazine about providers who go above and beyond in a time of crisis. I got to wondering: How many times have we read about a DME dealer or dealers who come through for their clients in a time of natural disaster? Or have assisted overseas, or in other areas of the country? I remember working for a company that provided oxygen; when a hurricane was predicted, it was “all hands on deck” for pre-checking oxygen supplies, calling clients and getting deliveries done. We were lucky; we never got a direct hit. But I keep thinking about all these little local companies, doing the “right thing” every single time—with no fanfare; with no recognition, especially from CMS; with no reimbursement. Not for the overtime, not for the rental of extra tanks, not for hauling tanks over downed trees, not for the oxygen itself.

And that got me to thinking: Do our 

representatives know the true cost of cutting out the locals in competitive bidding? Are they prepared to entrust clients to too few suppliers in a disaster? When a town is left without a supplier, does anyone win?

I wondered if maybe you kept the stories of these good guys that you have printed over the years. If you have, can’t you gather them together in one publication online? Then we could use them to buttress our arguments against this bidding fiasco.

For what it is worth: I am currently doing a series of talks among our seniors (and I live in a retirement area) on competitive bidding and what it means to them. Fraud, they have all heard of. But what is about to hit them is a total surprise. I am giving each senior a “call sheet” with phone numbers to members of the House and Senate. And from what I am hearing, they are calling. 

I would suggest we don’t forget that one of the biggest weapons we have is the seniors we serve. If they get vocal enough, all of Congress will listen. And they don’t know what is in store, but it is our responsibility to tell them.

—Connie Hess, ATP, Health Innovations 

Pharmacy, Southern Pines, N.C.