The year (sort of) in review


It’s not quite the end of the year, but we’re working on the January issue, so I’m already wondering what the top 10 stories are for 2013.

There’s still a month and some change left in the year, but with two holidays gobbling up at least five days between now and then, how much are things going to change, anyway?

(She says naively. Believe me, I’m not against some huge piece of news breaking in the next month with a headline like, Congress includes market-pricing program language in “doc fix” bill.)

So what are the top 10 stories of 2013 (well through Nov. 25)?

1. CMS announces payment amounts for Round 2

2. CMS names contract suppliers for Round 2

3. CMS announces steeper cuts for Round 1 re-compete

4. Competitive bidding: ‘Everybody’s in panic mode’

5. Bill calls for delay, review of bid program

6. The Scooter Store: Will an indictment be next?

7. The Scooter Store impact spreads

8. Stakeholders react: ‘These are suicide rates’

9. CMS throws safety net to oxygen providers

10. The Scooter Store proposes ‘aggressive’ sale

The next story that just missed the cut: Bills could deliver ‘one-two punch’ to bid program.

The next next story: ISG deal opens old wounds.

I’m grasping at straws, here, because I am shocked that there isn’t a story related to audits in the top 10. Shocked.

I’m not shocked, of course, that competitive bidding and The Scooter Store dominate many of the stories. In fact, now that I review the list again, they dominate ALL of the stories.

Even “CMS throws safety net to oxygen providers” has to do with competitive bidding. This summer, when oxygen patients were having trouble finding a new provider after their current provider closed their doors, CMS agreed to replace oxygen equipment and restart a 36-month rental period. Competitive bidding was one of the reasons for the problem, because it drastically reduced the number of providers that can service patients.

So there you have it—barring any huge news, of course.