'I would drop (Medicare) in a heartbeat'
When CMS on Aug. 19 announced the affected zip codes and product categories for Round 2 of competitive bidding, HME providers had a lot to digest. Here’s what some of them said, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Sandra Hoskin, president, American Medical Equipment, Houston
“My reaction to that is I want a Zoloft. This program is the biggest farce in this profession and I’ve been at it for the past 30 years. I know I have to move forward on this, and I plan on bidding, but to date, I’ve attended one seminar. We’ll bid on everything. You almost have to. Round 1 was a fiasco. Providers really underbid it, and I think they know that. I think Round 2 will be different. I’ve bid on a lot of contracts and done pretty well, so I feel good bidding. Medicare is 10% of my business, so I sure don’t have all my eggs in that basket. If it weren’t for a few contracts that require me to have Medicare, I would drop it in a heartbeat. It’s not worth the cost of accreditation and bonding. You can’t make enough on it, and I’m not in the business of giving equipment away below my costs. I am for-profit.”
Vail Horton, founder, chairman, CEO, Keen Healthcare, Portland, Ore.
“We’d like to see the program revamped. We don’t mind Medicare making cuts, if they want to do 1% or 2% across the board. But this program is not what’s best for Medicare, America, the patient or the provider. It’s too bad they couldn’t have developed a program that accomplished what they wanted. It’s going to cost more money in the long-term the way they’ve designed it. It will fall on its face. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”