Provider Doug Crana defends industry, sets the record straight for Fox News

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10/08/2009

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When Fox News ran a hit piece

download Basic Instinct 2 on the HME industry Oct. 5, claiming Medicare pays too much for medical equipment, provider Doug Crana sprung to action, firing off a letter to Fox officials to set the record straight. Here's what the president of Consolidated Medical in Newburgh, N.Y. said:

I heard the Fox News report this morning about durable medical equipment. I enjoy Fox News very much but I have to speak out and say this report was not right. As the owner of a durable medical equipment business for the last 35 years, I know your story is inaccurate and deserves to be rebutted. Fox news was remiss not to report the complete story. What Fox News failed to report is that the equipment they mentioned must be:

- Delivered
- Set up
- Maintained
- Billed—in most cases the equipment is rented for a period of time before it's owned. Essentially, we as providers are banks for the government. In addition, when we accept assignment, we have no guarantee that we will be paid.
- It’s unfair to compare what Medicare pays us to what equipment can be bought for online. Online retailers don’t bill Medicare or have bricks-and-mortar expense. We are in a completely different class.

We, the DME industry, serve as a very important component to our health care system. We are part of the solution when it comes to healthcare reform. There are a few bad apples that have given our industry a bad name. But as a whole, the DME industry is made up of hundreds of small businesses through out the U.S., providing a very important service. The key word is service. When Mrs. Jones runs out of oxygen at 2 in the morning, guess who is there? Yes, that's right. Us. If Mrs. Smith’s hospital bed fails to work, who goes to the home on a Friday at 4:30 p.m. to replace it? Us again. It’s all about service.

I agree our healthcare system is broke and needs to be fixed, but to come down on the DME industry and lead people to believe that the industry is ripping off the American tax payer is absurd. We pay for the equipment; we deliver the equipment; and we service the equipment. We have a right like any other business to make a fair profit.

Report the whole story, its proper journalism.

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