Bill Guidetti: ‘These are challenging times, but we are highly engaged’

Friday, July 17, 2020

YARMOUTH, Maine – AAHomecare’s new chairman, Bill Guidetti, has a list of priorities, but at the top of the list: putting a stop to competitive bidding while the HME industry continues to operate under the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic has compromised the industry—a lot of things have changed,” said Guidetti, who is also executive vice president at Apria Healthcare.

Guidetti was a guest on the “HME News in 10” podcast recently and talked about how it’s “mission critical” time for the HME industry.

HME News: What is your role as AAHomecare chairman?

Bill Guidetti: As chairman, the goal is really to work with the board to reinforce the way we are going to advocate for the industry. There are many issues out there right now, so it’s challenging times, but we have a board that is highly engaged with a lot of experience and we think we’ll continue to do a good job.

HME: What’s your top priority as chairman?

Guidetti: Competitive bidding. The industry during the pandemic has faced an issue that was unprecedented and I think it underscored the value of the industry at large because we are an extension of the hospital system. We are concerned with the bid program going off as intended because the data gathered pre-pandemic is not informed by what’s happening on the ground today. Our cost structure has changed, the way we have to prepare front-line employees has changed—there’s many contributing factors that did not go into the bid.

HME: How important a role does AAHomecare play in advocating for the HME industry?

Guidetti: Absent the association, many policies would go unchallenged. We’ve won many policy discussions that have benefitted the industry, going back to the interim final rule (in 2017), where significant dollars came back into the industry. During the pandemic, AAHomecare worked on getting a portion of the $30 billion CARES Act and there’s 13 different regulatory policies we got changed.

HME: How will you balance the needs of both large and small companies?

Guidetti: When you look at our board composition, it’s made up of large to small suppliers. We hear from everyone and we are very sensitive to the rural markets. It’s a good cross-pollination of our industry and we look at it holistically. We look at is a sector of health care and we try to make sure every provider is taken care of.

HME: Anything on your “wish list” as chairman?

Guidetti: I wish we had more participation by the industry. There are 6,000 companies, and today we have roughly 300-plus that participate. We need more representation and more resources so we can further fortify our position both in Washington and with CMS. We hear, “I have neither the time nor the treasure to participate,” but it’s mission critical.