Competition on the Cape?!


I was reading the Cape Cod Sunday Times yesterday when an advertisement for West Gate Home Medical Equipment caught my eye. It caught my eye because 1. It's related to HME and I can never seem to get away from it. 2. There's another HME provider on Cape Cod besides Cape Medical Supply?!

Who knew? So I looked in our database of providers, and sure enough, there it is, right there in Hyannis, although it's listed as Westgate Homecare. Which got me to thinking. What happens when Cape Cod gets sucked in by the competitive bidding program, like so many riptides off Chatham? (There's a lot of sharks off Chatham, too, but let's save that metaphor for another blog). Sure Cape Medical or West Gate Home Medical could win contracts and maybe even figure out a way to make it work without driving themselves crazy (or under). But what if neither wins? Or any of the other handful of HME providers on Cape? Cause let me tell you, it's a long way from Boston to P-Town (in more ways than just the mileage). Or to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

Hell, in the summer time, it's barely even possible to get there from here.

The beneficiaries will certainly suffer. And of course, this sort of scenario has begun to play out in Round 1 areas, and will certainly worsen in Round 2. I don't like that scenario. I always figured by the time my Dad needed oxygen (and that day will come), I'd just introduce him to Gary Sheehan and company and rest assured that he was getting good service. I guess like everyone else, we will wait and see.

I also learned this weekend that my mom actually reads this blog, on occasion. So: Hi Mom! I breezed over the bridge and sailed through Boston. Got stuck on the wrong side of an accident with the 1 mile to Portsmouth exit in sight. But, I made it home safe and sound. See you in a few months!

Love, T



I think you could replace "Cape Cod" with almost any town in Americas and the same sad truth will apply. Whether it's East coast or West coast or right here in the middle, many peope are going to lose their jobs and many more will lose the healthcare they need. we can acknowledge that there is fraud in healthcare, but competive bidding will not stop that. What we need are better controls and more follow ups. If we aren't careful, HME could end up like prohibition; driving the average guy out and making the organized criminal VERY wealthy.