HME News

MAR 2017

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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News 6 www. HM enew S . C o M / MARCH 2017 / HM e new S DMEPOS Provider Accreditation BOC HELPS YOU get back to what matters Considered the blue ribbon of credentialing, BOC ensures your facility is compliant with CMS, and provides tools to improve business practices and maintain your compliance. Our DME Specialist certification can enhance the level of customer service you provide. Visit for details on our CDME workshop and exam at Medtrade Spring. Stop by and see us at booth 1114. We're with you every step of the way. It's our promise. Every patient. Every facility. Every day. TM 877.776.2200 By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor re DMOND, Wash. – There's a good reason why you haven't seen HME consultant Roberta Domos on the speaking circuit in a few years. "We've been downsizing," said Domos, owner of Domos HME Consulting g roup, which has been in business since 1999. "We've done the same thing HME provid- ers have been doing: We're not bothering with not-profitable businesses anymore. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's take my own consulting advice." Over the years, the group's business has shifted from helping entrepreneurs with startups ("I used to have 15 to 20 going at a time; now I have one or two"), to help- ing providers with the accreditation pro- cess ("We did a bang up business with that through 2009"), to helping them with the billing process ("There's not less work to do. There's just as much to do, but the rev- enue has been cut like crazy"). Consultant's C orner Roberta Domos takes her own good advice Most recently, Domos has focused her consulting work more specifically on help- ing providers shift billing overseas. "We long believed that the front-end— insurance verification and documenta- tion—was easy to do overseas," she said. "Outsourcing the billing and collections piece is more risky, but with such huge cuts in reimbursement, it has to be an option for billing, too. The margins are just too tiny not to consider it." With business slowing down, Domos, 56, has retirement in her sights, but not quite yet. "You always have to be looking at the next thing and be ready to pivot," she said. "You have to diversify. You have to out- source. You have to offshore. You always have to be thinking." "The providers in this industry have helped a lot of people," Domos continued. "It's sad it's not respected more than it is. There are providers out there with hearts of gold. They're really good people." hme depends on the type of HME. And they are they're upfront with their customers about that. "Familiar items or items needing no cus- tomer service are sought online," said one respondent. "We freely tell customers that if they don't need the services that we layer on the product (billing, set up, adjustment, teaching, etc.), then by all means save some money by buying online. They appreciate the advice and come back when they do need a service-intensive product." Because a customer's preference may depend on the product, several respondents emphasized the importance of having a pres- ence both in-store and online. "We use a combination," said one respon- dent. "Some people want to come in and see the product and get educated on how to use it. Others have researched and know what they want—these people are more online- oriented. Also, having online retail increases our coverage area." The decision to buy in-store or online real- ly comes down to whether or not a product needs service, respondents say. Some argue most HME—save supplies—does. "Yes, plenty of people buy online but they are finding out that the retailers charge more to service products purchased online," said one respondent. "Most DME needs servic- ing—that is the catch." Because HME providers have an increas- ing number of competitors from both an in- store and online perspective (think Walmart and Amazon, respectively), one of the keys to success is appropriate pricing, they say. "We've always looked at Internet pricing and, and set our prices accordingly," said Bob Forbes of Advantage Home Oxygen in Pennsylvania. hme re TAIL c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 4 or g O l D Initiative. One possible model could leverage the Outcome and Assess- ment Information Set (OASIS), a quality performance indicator that CMS has used for home health agencies since 1999, said Ryan. "We're using what has been out there," he said. "Part of that is the CMS Center for Innovation's triple aim to increase patient sat- O xy G e N MOD e L c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 4 isfaction, increase healthcare outcomes and, at the end of the day, save money." Although the industry had discussed cre- ating an alternative payment model several years ago, just ahead of Medicare's competi- tive bidding program, it didn't get off the ground, said Ryan. But times are changing. Over the past few years, the healthcare system has been shifting away from fee-for-service toward outcome- based models, like those aimed at prevent- ing COPD readmissions within 30 days. hme medtrade booth 1114

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