AMARILLO, TX – It is the goal of the Medtrade Education Advisory Board (EAB) to always “stay ahead of the game” when it comes to offering education programs. The upcoming Medtrade will be no exception. The EAB has spent considerable time putting together education programs that are relevant today and into the near future.
As the industry knows, CMS has published a Proposed Rule that substantively changes competitive bidding (CB). It is encouraging that CMS has listened to the concerns voiced by AAHomecare and industry stakeholders. Up until recently, CMS expressed its views that CB has been very successful with no glitches.
In response to CMS’ assertion that CB has been successful, the DME industry has tirelessly gathered information, and presented it to CMS, showing that CB has resulted in (i) the closure of approximately 5,000 DME suppliers, (ii) Medicare beneficiaries not receiving equipment on a timely basis, (iii) Medicare beneficiaries not receiving necessary services, (iv) Medicare beneficiaries receiving substandard equipment, (v) Medicare beneficiaries not having access at all to DME suppliers, and (vi) hospitals not being able to discharge patients because there is no DME supplier ready to assume care for the patients.
Recent comments by CMS indicate that it is aware of these problems. More importantly, the Proposed Rule is an attempt by CMS to address these problems. AAHomecare, with input from industry stakeholders, will submit detailed comments on the Proposed Rule to CMS. It is anticipated that the Final Rule will be issued soon after Medtrade.
Knowing how important the CB changes are to the DME industry, the EAB has put together a new track of programs for Medtrade Fall. This track is called “The New Competitive Bidding.” This track will consist of five separate programs for which the discussion leaders will be CB experts. The track will address: (i) a historical view of CB and how CB so quickly “went off the rails;” (ii) the meaningful changes to CB contained in the anticipated Final Rule; (iii) how reimbursement will be set under the anticipated Final Rule; and (iv) practical steps to submit a bid. In addition, the track will have an interactive question and answer session with industry CB experts.
On a different “hot topic,” the EAB has included a 90-minute panel discussion on E-Prescribing. This panel will be comprised of representatives from four E-Prescribing companies, Wayne van Halem of The van Halem Group, and Jeffrey S. Baird, Esq., Chairman of the Health Care Group of Brown & Fortunato.
Lastly, Medtrade will include a number of interactive programs addressing retail (cash) sales and home modifications.
We are all in this together. Every single DME supplier is a stakeholder. Finally, after a lot of painstaking work, the industry is witnessing success. The Medtrade show is flexible enough to quickly adjust to the changes coming from CMS and Capitol Hill.
Jeffrey S. Baird, JD, is chairman of the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato, PC, a law firm based in Amarillo, Tex.