HME News

SEP 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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Page 10 of 32

10 / september 2017 / hme news editorial publisher Rick Rector editor Liz Beaulieu mAnAGinG editor Theresa Flaherty tfl contributinG editor John Andrews editoriAl director Brook Taliaferro editoriAl & AdVertisinG oF Fice 106 Lafayette Street PO Box 998 Yarmouth, ME 04096 207-846-0600 (fax) 207-846-0657 AdVertisinG Account mAnAGer Jo-Ellen Reed AdVertisinG coordinAtor Christina Dubois production director Lise Dubois reprints For custom reprints or digital reuse, please contact our reprint partner, The YGS Group, by calling 717-505-9701, ext. 100, or Art credits Steve Meyers: cartoon subscription inFormAtion HME News PO Box 47860 Plymouth, MN 55447-0860 800-869-6882 Publishers of specialized busi ness newspapers including HME News and Security Systems News. Producers of the HME News Business Summit and the Home Health Technology Summit. president & ceo J.G. Taliaferro, Jr. Vice president Rick Rector Head banging I n CASe you missed it, the Medicare Payment Adviso- ry Commission (MedPac) in june published "A data book: Health care spending and the Medicare program." Durable medical equip- ment has no section of its own (unlike hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, physi- cians, skilled nursing facili- ties, home health agencies, inpatient rehab facilities, etc.), but it was included in a number of graphs detailing trends in Medicare spending, one of which is a real head scratcher. According to Chart 1-5, Medicare rep- resents only 16% of the DMe spend, with Medicaid and CHIP representing 15% and "other" representing 68%. Other includes private health insurance, out-of-pocket spending, and other private and public spending, MedPac says. I asked on twitter if anyone else was fl oored by this, and I got a few yeses. I also got a "Pfft, that's what happens when Medicare bennies lose access to service across the u.S." Yes, it would be nice to see some his- torical data here, preferably pre- and post- competitive bidding. Would it show, say, that Medicare represented 60% of the DMe spend in 2006 vs. 16% in 2015? but the report, to my knowledge (granted, I didn't read All 214 pages), doesn't make that comparison. The report does have some interest- ing historical data on another point, though: that Medicare spending is concentrated in certain services and has shift- ed over time, as detailed in Chart 1-2. Total Medicare spending in 2006 was $402 billion and in 2015 it was $638 billion, but DMe's share of that spending dropped from 2% to 1% during that timeframe, a 50% reduc- tion. Home health was in a similar predica- ment, with 4% in 2006 vs. 3% in 20015. So where is Medicare spend concentrat- ing and shifting to, if not in DMe and home health? Well, managed care appears to be the big winner here, increasing from 16% in 2006 to 27% in 2015, more than a quar- ter of all spending. This could be a scary trend for HMe pro- viders, as evidenced by stories like "States move to single-source more and more DMe" (See page 4). In conclusion, if Chart 1-5 is a head scratcher, then Chart 1-2 is a head banger. now I'll let your peruse this data for your- self. just don't hurt your head. hme LIZ BEAULIEU By CInDI petIto W ITH THe onset of competitive bidding, the shifts in previ- ously purchased products to now rentals and reimbursement cuts, the availability in education and attendance of manufacturers at Medtrade has sig- nificantly declined over the recent years. However, the needs of our aging and physically disabled population in com- munities nationwide has significantly increased. Consequently, the problem of having non-experienced and trained therapists to meet the demands of our communi- ties continues to be a struggle for DMe providers. As Medtrade has dwindled in the area of complex rehab, I have struggled with finding ways to teach occupational and physical therapists in my practice, as well as our new non-experienced thera- pists, the wide array of complex rehab products available to end-users. For example, I hired an experienced occu- pational therapist who moved from Can- ada to the united States. She attended Medtrade last year based on my recom- mendation for the opportunity to see multiple products at the expo. both of us were extremely disappointed. I have hired seven new therapists in the two last months throughout the state of Florida, most of whom are new to this industry and have the heart to learn this area of practice. Currently, I am chal- lenged to make yet another recommen- dation to attend this conference due to the low exposure of complex rehab p r o d u c t s a n d education for my therapists at the 2017 Medtrade in Atlanta. To add to the complexities of my advocacy and my practice, we have decided to expand our prac- tice to Georgia. However, both manufacturer reps and DMe provider ATPs are now so busy try- ing to meet corporate quotas and their expected annual sales, the time needed to assist in fostering education in the field is little to none in Florida. Trying to expand into another state and teaching another 10 to 20 therapists throughout Georgia will only add to my frustration with the limited education and oppor- tunity to learn products at expos and conferences. lastly, the industry has shifted to pro- viding most of its education and atten- dance through the International Seating Symposium (ISS) and ReSnA conferenc- es. While these conferences are extreme- ly valuable to our industry, especially for experienced seating and wheeled mobili- ty clinicians, the fees to attend rise every year and are too expensive for a novice therapist to attend. Four years ago, I had the vision to expand my practice, Seating Solutions, statewide. now, CHAS Goup HC Corp. is busier than ever in the jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort lauderdale/ Miami areas. The aging-in-place popu- lation is growing, and seniors and peo- ple with physical disabilities are living longer. To foster the national growth of the number of clinicians who are willing to learn and want to enter into world of complex rehab, they need more oppor- tunities to learn. We are simply too busy trying to count trees that we cannot see the growing forest. I would like to see more seating and wheeled mobility education and manu- facturers present at Medtrade in 2018. bring complex back to Medtrade: We need it now more than ever. hme Cindi Petito, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS, is with CHAS Group HC Corp. Bring complex rehab back to Medtrade We are simply too busy trying to count trees that we cannot see the growing forest CINDI PETITO

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