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Editorial

How did we 'win' the mock auction?

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05/25/2011

I attended Professor Peter Cramton's "Mock Medicare Auction" on April 1 at the University of Maryland along with 122 other stakeholders from the industry, government, academia and the press. The purpose was to better understand how a free market auction designed by economic experts would work as a potential alternative to the current fundamentally flawed bidding program designed and implemented by Medicare. I was assigned to the Harry Truman & Co. team and was partnered with a Washington D.C. healthcare reporter. Even though both of us had limited knowledge in auction theory and design, we won the exercise as the most profitable company.

You're either in business to win, or you're not

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05/25/2011

What's your plan?

I like this phrase. I use it all the time. I ask myself, my partners, my clients. It's a sharp, no-nonsense jab that gets right to it, and also forces you to look ahead--and if you're not doing that, you might as well turn out the lights.

Letters: Let's charge for services

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05/25/2011

It would be most unlikely that taking ventilator rentals into the CMS bidding process would meet the goals of the program ("Next in line: Vents and manual wheelchairs?" page 4). Rates have remained, relative to other medical costs, rather stable over the past 12 years despite the technological advances (and with that, added significant provider costs). Additionally, the vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries on ventilators generally have their co-payment paid for by Medicaid, so the "reduces the out-of-pocket expenditures" argument should not carry much weight. Of all the in-home equipment rentals Medicare provides for, undoubtedly ventilation is the most complex, hands-on service provided.

ACOs: What you need to know

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04/25/2011

The biggest buzz in D.C. over the last year has been ACOs--the new acronym in our healthcare lexicon. On March 31st, the government's plans were unveiled when CMS issued a proposed rule that implements this provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The "Medicare Shared Savings Program" will establish incentives for healthcare providers to work together to treat an individual patient across care settings--including doctor's offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities--as an accountable care organization (ACO).

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

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04/25/2011

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.

Letters to the editor: Beneficiaries get left out in this welfare state

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04/25/2011

To start, we are not a contracted provider in any of the competitive bidding areas. However, we have entered into several sub-contracting arrangements in areas that were critical to us, albeit, at lower but still somewhat profitable rates. We are turning away patients in other areas, as well as a significant amount of our service and repairs.

Long time HME provider throws in the towel

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04/25/2011

My name is Robert Brant and I am the co-owner of City Medical Services in North Miami Beach, Fla., in the Miami CBA. My business began in 1997 and we were Joint Commission accredited nine years before it was required.

Are you playing the game?

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03/24/2011

I'm beginning to think home medical equipment providers are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
We had a story on the front page of our March issue about industry leaders who are worried providers are helping to "prop up" the competitive bidding program by, among other things, providing services for free to Medicare beneficiaries who can't locate a contract supplier.

Commentary: Repeal NCB: Now is the not the time to go wobbly

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03/24/2011

I realize that a lot of people are tempted to hit the panic button on competitive bidding now that Round 1 has gone live.

The competitive bidding chronicles: Month 3

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03/24/2011

To any Cincinnati contract suppliers who might be clipping this article, know this--PRO2 Respiratory may not have a contract, but they're not going away.
PRO2's local competitors want referral sources to believe otherwise; they've been engaging in what PRO2's John Reed calls "predatory marketing," sending out copies of "The competitive bidding chronicles" to support their claim that the company's going belly-up.

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