May 28, 2013

Extended Care Executives Discuss Market Shifts and Opportunities
at HIDA Manufacturer-Distributor Seminar

Alexandria, Va. – Provider reimbursement cuts, higher acuity patients, and the implementation of competitive bidding for durable medical equipment are all contributing to a period of both uncertainty and opportunity for long-term healthcare. That was the message shared among 100 manufacturer, distributor, and provider executives at the recent HIDA Educational Foundation’s Manufacturer-Distributor Seminar in Austin, TX.

The meeting marked HIDA’s first-ever program focused entirely on extended care channel partnerships, how they collaborate with other market segments and are changing in today’s healthcare environment.

Distributor panelists from First Choice Medical Supply, McKesson Medical-Surgical, Gulf South Medical Supply, and Preferred Medical provided overviews and answered questions explaining how industry trends are affecting operations:

  • Provider consolidation within IDNs and accountable care organizations (ACOs) is motivating distributors to take on more consultative roles in their customer relationships as they expand services beyond traditional offerings.

  • Competitive bidding has the potential to re-shape home medical equipment distribution, with an approximated 40% of suppliers exiting the market or going out of business as a result of losing contract bids in certain markets.

  • Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement declines are limiting providers’ ability to serve diverse patient mixes, while shifting attention toward improving managed care outcomes. Distributors can respond by offering product alternatives where appropriate to help lower operating expenses.

Executives from long-term care providers including Health Dimensions Group, Genesis Healthcare, Golden Living, Bethany Home of Lindsborg, and Regional Hospital for Respiratory & Complex Care offered insights in an IDN focus group which opened the seminar.

When asked, “What are some ways vendors can help you?,” the three most popular requests were:

  1. Frequent and open communication
  2. Improved responsiveness and attentiveness
  3. Having the ability to provide the necessary data and best practices to help guide clinical decision-making

Also noted was the pressing need for more bariatric product choices due to a growing skilled nursing population of obese patients.

HIDA’s next Manufacturer-Distributor Seminar will hone in on new realities in the lab market, featuring executives from some of the country’s largest provider organizations and diagnostics users.

The New Realities in Lab Market Seminar takes place November 12-13 in Washington, D.C.

Amy Lee, 202-280-8816

About the HIDA Educational Foundation
The HIDA Educational Foundation is an affiliate of the Health Industry Distributors Association, the premier trade association representing medical products distribution. The Foundation is devoted to education and research that increases efficiency and effectiveness within the healthcare supply channel. For more information, visit www.HIDA.org or www.streamlininghealthcare.org.