Lubbock, Texas After more than two decades of business dealings, The MED Group and Invacare have parted ways, for now, according to David Miller, MED's
by Brook Raflo
April 1, 2003

Lubbock, Texas After more than two decades of business
dealings, The MED Group and Invacare have parted ways, for now,
according to David Miller, MED's chief executive officer.

Miller insisted the decision not to sign a contract with
Invacare “had nothing to do with a failure or
breakdown,” despite unsubstantiated reports to the contrary
that appeared last week in the trade press.

Instead, MED based the decision solely on the results of a new
“request for proposals” process, Miller explained. For
the first time in MED's history, the organization late last year
asked vendors to submit contract proposals in 15 product
categories. During the months of January and February, MED
evaluated the proposals and negotiated with each of the potential
vendors, attempting to find the best possible balance for MED
members and vendors, he said.

But Invacare saw the process differently, according to Susan
Elder, Invacare's director of marketing communications.

“First of all, The MED Group failed to meet its contract
with Invacare during the past two years, in terms of the sales
commitment, so the fees that we paid to The MED Group were
wasted,” she said. Second, “The MED Group would make no
new sales commitment in a new contract, and that was a stumbling
block in the negotiations.”

Elder went on to explain that Invacare's primary relationship is
with the individual home medical equipment provider, and that
Invacare is committed to nurturing that relationship. “We
will continue to offer the best value proposition in the
industry,” she said.

Defending The MED Group's business practices, Miller begged to
differ with Elder. “We met all the terms of the contract
[with Invacare], as they were agreed upon, during the three years
of the contract.”

Although Miller did not close the door on the possibility of a
future contract with Invacare, he said MED is focusing on the good
news and hard work at hand. “The RFP process is
working,” he said, pointing to MED's “lead
partner” contract with Sunrise.

For its part, Invacare would like to assure HME providers that
the company is putting the interests of the industry first.
“Our [executive team] has combined industry experience of
over 75 years,” Elder said. “Invacare will be here
tomorrow.”

For breaking news, go to www.homecaremonday.com, the electronic news service
of the home medical equipment industry.