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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Providers Heatlh Complex Medical rebrands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Home Oxygen company earns audit reprieve . . . . . . . . . 15 Q&A: CareCentrix's Steve Wogen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 New website is Home Because . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ■ Home Health Depot is in a 'very good market to sell,' says Nate Feltman. See story page 1. Briefs Apria settles with MassHealth LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Apria Healthcare has agreed to pay more than $750,000 to set- tle allegations that it billed Massachusetts residents for services already covered by MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program. Under the settlement announced Aug. 9, Apria has agreed to pay $99,008 in restitu- tion and $665,934 in penalties to settle al- legations that the company improperly billed consumers between December 2011 and April 2017, according to Massachusetts At- torney General Maura Healey. Despite the settlement, Apria denies it violated any state laws. "We are pleased to have resolved this matter with the Massachusetts Attorney General," said Raoul Smyth, Apria's execu- tive vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "Although Apria denies that it has violated any Massachusetts laws, this resolution reflects Apria's desire to put this matter behind it so that it can continue to focus on the needs of patients." CPAP helps keep COPD patients out of hospitals, study shows TUCSON, Ariz. – Although PAP therapy is asso- ciated with a reduction in hospitalization for COPD patients, more than 92% of patients are not receiving the therapy, according to a recently published study funded by Royal Philips. The retrospective study, led by Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, professor of medicine and interim chief of Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medi- cine, revealed that only 7.5% of the more than 1.8 million COPD patients analyzed were receiving any form of PAP therapy. Data from the reviewed administrative claims sug- gest that individuals receiving either BiPAP, CPAP or non-invasive positive pressure ven- tilation therapy experienced lower hospital- ization risk than before therapy initiation, as well as lower hospital risk than those who did not receive any positive airway pressure therapy at all. Short takes: Northern Rehab, WVU HME Northern Rehab Equipment & Respiratory is closing its doors after 19 years in busi- ness, according to a local newspaper. The Redding, Calif.-based provider served cus- tomers all over the North State, specializing in products for the elderly like beds, wheel- chairs, walkers, oxygen concentrators, dia- betic shoes and more. New West Medical, also in Redding, bought some of Northern Rehab's inventory and took on some of its customers, according to the newspaper... WVU Home Medical Equipment held a ribbon cutting ceremony this week for its new store in Bridgeport, West Va. The store gives WVU HME, part of St. Joseph's Hospital, a central location to provide everything from chair lifts to wrist splints to customers in north central West Virginia. WWW . HMENEWS . COM / SEP t EM b ER 2017 / HME NEWS 15 By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor HARTFORD, Conn. – It may seem like a concept straight out of a sci- fi film, but artificial intelligence is being used across industries, and although health care has been a little slower on the uptake, its time has come, says By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor T he top I c of grandfathering under the competitive bidding program came up recently when Medicare beneficiaries in c alifornia received a letter from Apria h ealth- care that it is no longer a contracted provider for oxygen in their area and explains that, as of August, the beneficiary must transition to a contracted provider. While the letter raised questions about whether Apria was exiting the market, it is likely a routine communication alerting Medicare beneficiaries that their rental period By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor WATERBURY, Conn. – h ealth c omplex Medi- cal is "scrapping" its old messaging with a rebrand that highlights its focus on sleep and respiratory services. "We're not just creating a logo—it's a complete repositioning of our compa- ny," said Jack h ogan, president and ceo . " e verything is fresh and new, and crystalizes what is already happening in our building every day." t he provider hired a marketing firm and conducted a "brand audit," which included a blind survey of employees to get their feed- back on its existing brand. t hat, in turn, helped the company reshape the company's message to reflect its direction and empower employees, says h ogan. h ealth c omplex now has a new logo and a new tagline, "All t aken c are o f." "We want to let everyone—our employ- ees, our patients, our payers and our referral sources—understand we don't just provide products and services," he said. "We under- stand the pain points in this industry and we try to be the solution to those pain points." t he provider also scrapped its old, stan- By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor MODESTO, Calif. – It's not every day that h M e providers get good news from a c MS audit contractor, but h ome o xy- gen c ompany recently got a break from certain audits. t he provider recently received word from Noridian, the Jurisdiction D MA c , that it had earned 12-month reprieves from widespread prepay reviews for both oxygen and cp A p . "It's a confidence builder," said Andrea e wert, ceo . "We are doing what they like, and we are going to keep it up." e wert plans to use the reprieve as a chance to further educate her referral sources. Like many providers, h ome o xygen c ompany says it competes with providers who aren't such sticklers for documentation. " o ur competitors take anything and everything," she said. "Now, we can show our referral sources the letter and say we are doing what we are supposed to do." c onsultant Andrea Stark says such reprieves aren't the norm, but for cer- tain product categories that are targeted for constant review, like oxygen and cp A p , if providers consistently get their documentation right the first time, it is a possibility. " t oo few suppliers embrace the fact that we want first-pass rates," said Stark, a reimbursement consultant with MiraVista. " p roviders bake into their Health Complex has it 'All Taken Care Of ' dard issue mission statement in favor of the succinct "Make the c omplex e asy," says h ogan. " t hat's what we ask our staff to do—make the complex easy," he said. "We've seen all of health care evolve into a very difficult landscape. e very day we are challenged by the mounds and mounds of documen- tation required by the payers, compliance issues, audit issues, and it gets in the way, it bogs down taking care of patients, which is what we started out doing when we began in 1984." t he 33-year-old h ealth c omplex got its start as a provider of core DM e like hospi- tal beds, walkers and commodes. It added respiratory services around 1995. t oday, the Reprieve a 'confidence builder' AuditS CareCentrix pursues 360-degree view is up, says Apria ceo Dan Starck. "We haven't done any- thing to the nature that people are going out of business or exiting con- tracts," he said. "We've been stable—the contracts we were awarded we are fulfilling, and the ones we weren't we provided services on a grandfa- thered basis as long as we are able to." Medicare allows providers to continue Apria letter spotlights grandfathering provision c are c entrix's Steve Wogen. Wogen, chief growth officer for the company, which coordi- nates h M e and other services for health plans, spoke with h M e News recently about how the company is leveraging AI and machine learning to con- nect data points and, as a result, reduce readmissions and improve patient outcomes. HME N E ws: How can AI be lever- aged in post-acute care? Steve Wogen: p ost-acute care has been based on silos where every component of the care continu- um has been designed to maxi- mize its own profit and earnings, and not the patient experience. Being able to integrate all of the diagnostic info with all the claims info with all of the indi- vidual characteristics of a patient, you are able to better match the patient to the intelligent proto- cols that benefit that patient and treat them as an individual as opposed to as an average. HME: What is an example of data you can analyze to improve patient outcomes? Wogen: By looking at the credit information of that patient to identify whether that patient has an auto loan—you know whether they have a car or access to public transportation. You can arrange transportation, R E p R i E v E s e e pa g e 1 6 g R A N D FAT H E R i N g s e e pa g e 1 6 W O g E N s e e pa g e 1 6 H E A LT H c o m p l e x s e e pa g e 1 6 'The more data that's available...the more you're able to see relationships' Dan Starck

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