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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News 6 www. HM enew S .co M / S ep T e MB er 2017 / HM e new S Where community meets opportunity Join the VGM community today! 1-800-642-6065 | Join a community of HME experts unified to strengthen each other's businesses. • Home Medical Equipment • Complex Rehab • Wound Care • Women's Health • Home Modifications • Respiratory • Home Infusion and Retail Pharmacy Retail expert Rob Baumhover connects with VGM community members at the Heartland Conference Retail Training Lab. By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor WATERLOO, Iowa – Just when h M e provid- ers think they have control over docu- mentation and billing, Medicare throws them a curve ball. t hat makes it difficult for them to develop good habits—a big reason why they're turning up for t he v GM Group's " b reaking b ad r eimburse- ment h abits" tour. h ere's what r onda b uhrmester and Dan Fedor, two reim- bursement specialists for v GM who are running the tour, had to say about how providers are getting themselves on the right path to reimbursement. HME N E ws: You've had a number of tour stops now. How have they been going? Ronda Buhrmester: With the industry the way it is, with the cuts in reimbursement and the high number of audits, people are hungry for information and how to work through audits. t hey want to get paid appropriately and they don't want to lose their money. We've had anywhere from 30-50 attendees at the sessions. Dan Fedor: t hey also like that we're com- ing to their backyards. i t's less costly and less out-of-office time. t he C eu s also attract people. HME: What's one of the top areas where providers need to break bad habits? Buhrmester: People think that, because they're billing non-assigned, they have no liability. t hat's not true. You're just telling Medicare that you're not accepting the fee schedule; you still have to follow guide- lines, gather documen- tation and file a claim for the patient. t hat's mis- understood across the industry. Fedor: t he other part of that is, they're afraid to ask patients for the money upfront. t hey're afraid they're going to lose their referrals and lose the business. b ut that's not really hap- pening. t hey're slowly becoming more comfort- able with it. HME: What's a good habit that providers need to develop? Buhrmester: We all rely on physicians to do the documentation, but they don't do it like we want them to. t here are other resources that we can add to that, as well. s omeone from pulmonology rehab or a wound care clinic—you can use their notes in the supporting documentation. People miss that. Yes, you have to have the note from the physician that the patient has this condition, but you can also have other information that can help support that. Fedor: i think another good habit to develop is not accepting an answer from a payer if it doesn't seem right. i had a pro- vider who thought he had to rent com- plex rehab. i told him, you don't have to do that; there's a purchase option. h e was doing it that way because that's what he was told by a Medicare customer service representative. HME: But even when they break bad hab- its, providers always need to stay on their toes, right? Buhrmester: Yes, you can have two differ- ent review nurses looking at a claim and they come to different conclusions. Who has the policy right? t hat is frustrating. Fedor: t here can be a lot of gray areas, so you need all the information you can get. HME Q&A: VGM's Buhr M ester & Fedor Info is power in fight to get, and stay, paid with no experience," wrote another respondent. For the 38% percent of respondents who say they have 10 or more employ- ees under 40, that inexperience means a fresh perspective. "We look forward to hiring young team members," wrote one respondent. "Most of them are not aware of what's happened over the past 10 years in the h M e industry and, therefore, they bring a welcomed attitude to our workforce." o ther benefits of a younger work- force, respondents say: more affordable health insurance for those companies that offer it to their employees, and a higher level of tech-savviness. Detri- ments: less work ethic and more turn- over, they say. " a verage length of employment for the younger population is two years or less," wrote one respondent. a t some point, however, as a big por- tion of the workforce retires, h M e com- panies will increasingly have to look to younger professionals. t hat will be a sad day, one respondent says. " i feel that we are losing a lot of knowl- edge from our more senior employee base," wrote the respondent. HME NEWS p OLL c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 4 Dan Fedor R. Buhrmester

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