Letters to the editor: Why didn't the industry band together?

Monday, April 25, 2011

I am a small voice, a small, independent DME supplier in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston. Please help me to understand how those suppliers who have been through competitive bidding and were awarded contracts by severely underbidding (in hopes this would go away) help our industry. Those who have underbid have only hurt those of us small DMEs who will be going through the process in Round 2. My company can't compete.

I have beneficiaries, my patients, calling me daily about this new process, which they have read about in the latest "Medicare & You" booklet mailed out early this year. They are scared about patient choice--of who they might end up with (maybe a supplier they weren't happy with and made the change to my company).

I truly feel that we, the DME industry, should have all banded together and bid the same across the board so that Medicare would have thrown out this competitive bidding process.

I know it is too late, but those companies who keep underbidding severely will only help Medicare cut rates more and more, which will make it near impossible for anyone to earn a living and will lead to thousands of unemployed people when we have to close our doors.

-Debra G. Williams Hill, Houston Medical Equipment, Inc.