'We're all in this together'

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LUBBOCK, Texas – When it comes to competitive bidding, The MED Group wants HME providers to have all of their bases covered.

That’s why MED has formed the Competitive Bidding Institute to school providers on not only how to submit a bid, but also how to stay in the game, whether they become a contract or non-contract provider.

“The primary focus is to stop competitive bidding,” said Wayne Grau, MED’s vice president of supplier relations and government affairs. “But we have an obligation to put together tools and services that our members can access so that they’re ready to compete.”

CMS expects to open bidding later this year in 91 cities as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding. It expects to announce payment amounts in the fall of 2012 and contract suppliers in the spring of 2013.

The institute will take various shapes, Grau said: It’s a binder that providers can use as a reference tool; it’s a series of webinars that, for example, teach providers how to improve operational efficiency; and it’s in-person meetings at various state association events.

“We don’t want to hand them something and say, ‘Good luck,’ so we’re putting together a comprehensive program,” he said. “But it’s a little bit at a time. It’s, think about how to generate revenue off of new products, then move to the next part, how to maximize revenue from sleep.”

A series of webinars kicking off the program last month and this month was attended by hundreds of providers, members and non-members, Grau said.

“We just want providers to realize we’re all in this together,” he said. “They don’t have to do this alone.”