Where have all the providers gone?


Don’t let the title of this blog fool you. Of course, there are still providers out there. 

But since the Round 2 rates and contract winners were announced, I’ve noticed a lot of the ladies and gentlemen I’ve gotten used to calling are getting out of the game.  

Last month, I tried to call Craig Daley, president of Ormand Beach, Fla.-based Comfort Medical Supply. I first chatted with him last August about being one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies

I also talked to him for a story I wrote about keeping patient data safe.

He was a smart guy with big plans and a lot to say.

When I called in April to see how things were going, his company had shut down. 

Just today, I called Bill Armstrong, a gentleman who is very active on Colorado’s provider association, CAMES. I’ve appreciated chatting with him a few times about things going on at Centennial, Colo.-based American Oxygen Kompany. He told me today that he won contracts for oxygen but not CPAP, and that his company is for sale. 

He’s planning to take the summer off once the sale goes through, and won’t be getting back into HME. 

Other providers I call have recordings reporting disconnected numbers. Either they’ve gone out of business or sold their assets to a company big enough to find some economies of scale.

It seems to me the closures predicted by competitive bidding opponents are starting to take effect. I’m noticing fewer providers on the ground. 

Here’s hoping the crowd at the AAHomecare Legislative Conference makes sure Congress notices too, and puts a stop to it. Otherwise it’ll be the patients asking, “Where have all the providers gone?”


I notied in round 2 that Walmart Pharmacies in most areas was awarded the bid for walking aids. 


Medicare requires a supplier to Setup, Deliver, and Instruct the patient on the use of the equipment. 


Is Walmart goling to deliver a walker to a patient's home, set it up, and instruct the patient on the use of the walker or other walking aid?

Why has this not been publicized?  A ptient that needs a walker my put the wheels on wrong, then trip and fall with the walker.  How is the patient going to know what height to set the walker?