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Re: [IP] Preferred provider's high supply prices



Phil,
I hear what you are saying,.but here is from the customer's viewpoint.
When I was on my other pump I had to go through the distributor. They charged
about double to me and my insurance company. I did not appreciate that. With
MiiniMed direct I can get my supplies overnight at regular costs and save $$
for insurance also. If things could be like that then "maybe" insurance
premiums could go down.
I don;t have a need to have someone right in my back yard with that kind of
service and prices. People are educated consumers. I have a need for many
assistive devices. I was given the catalog and ordered direct to save
money. If
my artifical larynx was ordered through a preferred provider the cost would
be 
*3* times higher making my amount to pay higher. We ordered it direct at
regular price and we all win in this.
Competition is good..
Ginny 

At 09:42 AM 4/12/99 , you wrote:
>May I add another perspective?  I'm the manager of a provider, and we hold
>preferred provider contracts with many insurances in New England.  One of my
big
>frustrations is that the pump manufacturers choose to compete directly
against
>their distributors.  Most manufacturers establish a distributor network and
don't
>sell directly to the public.  However, Minimed in particular, sells to the
general
>public for the same price that they sell to their distributors.  As a
distributor,
>I get zero discount, so wholesale equals retail.  Our company can't
compete in
>that way, and I question whether it borders on an anti-trust violation.  I'd
love
>to see another company come up with "generic" supplies that work with
brand-name
>pumps.
>
>I'm all for buying at the best price, and in the competitive world, may the
best
>provider win.  However, it would be nice to have a level playing field. 
For a
>company like ours who tries to offer a comprehensive, local diabetes
education
>program, this mail-order arrangement means a loophole in our program.  For
our
>customers who prefer to have a local face to deal with, they don't like
calling
>someone "way off" for their personal medical needs.
>
>I recognize that there's a difference of perspective between a customer and a
>retailer, and it's dangerous to generalize since every situation is
different,
but
>please don't place ALL the blame on your local medical equipment provider.
>
>Stepping down off my soapbox,
>
>Phil DuBois
>email @ redacted
>
>----------------------------------------------------------
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<http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/>http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
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> 

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for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org