What a difference a year doesn't make!
Check out these two front pages from HME News, the first from January 2010 issue and the second from January 2011 issue. (Click on the thumbnails to get a slightly larger version of the front pages.)
Kind of depressing, right?
Earlier this year, the industry still had hope that it could put the brakes on competitive bidding. The top story on the January 2010 front page screams, "We can get this done." Stakeholders were moving and shaking; they were collecting co-sponsors for H.R. 3790; they were making hundreds of calls to lawmakers.
By the end of this year, the industry may have been moving and shaking, but in a different way. The top story on the January 2011 front page states: "Stakeholders: Spread the word." With competitive bidding still intact, they were trying to retool to be able to assess the expected damage that the program will cause when it's up and running on Jan. 1.
So what do you think will be the top story on the January 2012 front page? I bet it will, again, have something to do with competitive bidding. But will it be about the program's demise, its problems, its expansion?
That, as they say, is the $64 million question.