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Ill. Medicaid explores single supplier model

Ill. Medicaid explores single supplier model

Springfield, Ill. - As Illinois looks to reduce spending on incontinence products, providers in the Prairie State say it's going about it the wrong way.

In January, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services issued an RFP to select a single supplier that would provide all incontinence supplies to the state's Medicaid beneficiaries. 

“If you specialize in that market, it could mean closing down,” said David Doubek, president of Alsip, Ill.-based Doubek Medical Supply. “We're a little more diverse, so we would survive, but it would be another punch to the gut.”

In 2014, 406 providers delivered $51.2 million worth of incontinence supplies, according to the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association.

“How is one provider going to supply hundreds of orders of incontinence products a day,” said Doubek. “I would consider myself a middle to large-sized provider and it's not even something that I would consider getting involved in.” 

There's also concern that product quality would decrease. 

“Whoever won the RFP would be one-dimensional as far as product line,” said Doubek. “The shapes and sizes of people's bodies are different. They may be serviced, but they're not going to be serviced

The deadline for the RFP was pushed back from April 22 to May 6, after negotiations to reduce reimbursement rates for incontinence products in lieu of a single supplier model failed.

“We thought we had an agreement in place, but the day before they were supposed to pull the RFP, they changed their mind,” said Matt Peterson, president of the Great Lakes Association. “The department indicated that they had already received some submissions and they wanted to take a look at the offers.”

Because the RFP does not provide a timeline beyond the May 6 deadline, Peterson says the ball is in the state's court.

“They can award one contract or decide not to award any contract,” he said. “It really is up to them at this point.”


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