Wyoming: What does it matter in Wyoming? Plenty

Wyoming joins Big Sky AMES
Monday, November 3, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Provider Clark McInroy says it was time for providers in Wyoming to get off the sidelines and get re-involved with industry issues.

“I think we’ve been a little apathetic and felt, ‘What does it matter in Wyoming?” said McInroy, owner of COPD Respiratory Services in Cheyenne. “We haven’t really had a voice.”

In August, Wyoming joined the Big Sky Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (Big Sky AMES), which also includes Idaho and Montana. 

It’s not the first time providers here have tried to band together. McInroy organized a Wyoming chapter more than 20 years ago, but says it fizzled out after a few years. Part of the problem: The sheer distance between providers, which makes it difficult to stay in touch, he said. Wyoming is one of the most rural states in the country, with a population of slightly more than 500,000 spread across 97,000 square miles. McInroy estimates there are 10 or 12 independent HME providers left in the state.

With the possible nationwide expansion of competitive bid rates by 2016, McInroy and his daughter, Patricia McInroy, general manager at COPD Respiratory Services and board member at Big Sky AMES, want to educate lawmakers on the impact of the program.

“We don’t believe they understand what it’s like out here to take care of a patient that’s 100 miles away,” he said. “We are in the process of meeting with them and getting them informed of what’s going on.”