Bid data you can use


I talked today with Mike Sperduti of Emerge Sales, who we've teamed up with for an important webcast about competitive bidding on Nov. 18. From what he's hearing from his researchers, once you get hospital discharge planners talking about competitive bidding, they won't shut up. They're not happy with the program.

If you've somehow avoided our weekly promotional emails about this webcast and don't know what it's about: Emerge Sales has interviewed about 100 hospital discharge planners in Round 1 areas about competitive bidding to find out what the program means for contract and non-contractor providers.

Some of the questions asked:

How did you learn about competitive bidding? Do you feel you were properly educated about the program?

How satisfied are you with the providers that were awarded contracts in your area

What criteria do you use to select among the contract providers?

How has competitive bidding affected the referral process?

Do you prefer to send referrals to one contract provider with multiple contracts?

How have service levels changed under competitive bidding?

Do you still consider non-contract providers for product categories not included in competitive bidding?

We expect a good crowd for this webcast, because this is valuable stuff.

If I'm a contract provider, for example, I want to know if discharge planners prefer to send referrals to one contract provider with multiple contracts. If I have multiple contracts, that's something I should be marketing to them; if I don't, I may need to partner with other contract providers who have a small number of contracts to offer discharge planners more of a one-stop shop.

If I'm a non-contract provider, I want to know these things, too, maybe even more so. If discharge planners are dissatisfied with the contract providers in their areas, I can market myself as their go-to source for all of their needs for products not included in competitive bidding or for other insurers.

Heck, I may be patting myself and Mike on the back here, but I even think this data will prove valuable for industry associations as they lobby Congress to modify the program. Wouldn't it be valuable to go to the Hill with the results of a survey of 100 discharge planners that says X% of them are unhappy with the program and X% feel that service levels have dropped since it went into effect.

There are plenty of competitive bidding related webcasts out there right now and, don't get me wrong, they're valuable educational and prep tools. But no one else has this kind of data.

I plan to blog next week with a few teasers from the webcast.

Stay tuned—and register before it's too late.

Liz Beaulieu