HME News

OCT 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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26 / october 2017 / hme news 2017 B y Jeff Ro W e, Contributing Writer ATLANTA – a s aging adults turn their collective economic resources to a growing array of health needs, they are increasingly interest- ed in using technology that can help them integrate family, healthcare and com- munity support for active, aging independence. a t Medtrade, s peaker Val Ornoy, C e O of Life a ssist, will participate in a panel that will highlight some of the specific demographics and psychographics infor- mation that should be considered as providers create and deploy mobile offerings. hme n ews: Are senior citizens online? Val Ornoy: t hat depends on what you con- sider to be a senior citizen. On the lower end of the 65-plus spectrum, there are quite a few people online. a t the same time, what does it mean to be online? My parents are 80, and they're comfortable surfing and texting. But downloading an app or streaming things— that's a different story. hme : Why is integrating mobile apps into a healthcare organization a good idea? Ornoy: t he problem we're trying to solve— our fragmented approach to providing care— is a significant problem across health care. We believe in using technology where it can assist and augment. Over half of senior citizens have at least two to three chronic health issues, but usually none of their caregivers are talking to each other. We want to give them technologi- cal tools so that they can connect and share information. hme : If attendees take away one thing from this session, what should it be? Ornoy: People should start to care about the fact that we have neighbors who are sick, so what can we do to take better care of them? t he key for us is that there should be a general realization that there aren't a lot of integrated touch points. We have to start to connect the senior and long-term care recipients with family and different care providers. a ll have to be connected and talking each other. d ata needs to flow. Currently, it's not happening to the extent it needs to. hme Integrate health care, so data can flow speaker spotlight Val Orney C e O, Life a ssist t uesday, Oct. 24 4 pm to 5 pm Session: "Connecting with the s ilver Tsunami" Contact: 415-713-6563 Val Ornoy medtrade b OO th 1351 MC o & Medi CA id C O n T i n u e d f r O m pa g e 1 beneficiaries who have built relation- ships over the past few years with the provider group." t he Newspoll is a follow-up to a story on MCOs in i ndiana and t exas targeting contracts with distributors to provide d M e and supplies to their members. One of the MCOs, s uperior HealthPlan, also part of Centene, recently delayed the start date of its contract with Medline until Oct. 1 and is contemplating recast- ing the contract as "preferred provider" vs. "single-source" to make it more clear that members will still have their choice of provider. i n some states, more than one MCO is targeting these contracts. i n t ennes- see, for example, there are three MCOs administering the Medicaid program: One contracted with Medline to provide incontinence supplies in 2015; another has contracted with the e dgepark Medi- cal s upplies, part of Cardinal Health, to provide those supplies starting Nov. 1. " a merigroup rounds out the MCOs in our state," wrote Juli Kirby, the office manager for Health Care Plus in Knox- ville. "Will they follow suit?" i n i llinois, stakeholders have been successful so far in beating back these contracts, but one respondent is realistic that the threat will likely never be gone. " t his was on the table in i llinois a couple of years ago but was pulled back," the respondent wrote. "Our state asso- ciation got involved and helped with the efforts against this, but we still feel single-source contracting is a strong pos- sibility in the state. i am also wondering if other payers will move to this model. i t is concerning how this will affect the beneficiaries, in regards to the lack of face-to-face instruction of the products." a respondent in Pennsylvania reported that an MCO there will at least have an "any willing provider" provision in its contract. But when the reimbursement attached to these contracts are as low as they are, that's little consolation. "We're so sick of being cut," said one respondent. " t here is nowhere left to cut." hme show preview C O n T i n u e d f r O m pa g e 2 5 battered by the effects of competitive bid- ding and audits. Gaffney said aa Homec- are estimates 40% of HM e providers have gone out of business since 2012. t oday, businesses are looking for strategies and solutions to help them not just survive, but succeed despite the challenges. With its town hall-style sessions, engag- ing product demonstrations and vigor- ous networking opportunities, Medtrade can help them reach those goals. i n fact, this year's show was designed specifically meet attendee and exhibitor needs, Gaff- ney said. "Over the last few years, many regular attendees have commented that Medtrade no longer resembles the high school reunion of the past," he said. " i nstead, there are many new, and younger, faces. s ome are also a bit older, but have come to the industry from other professions because they see potential." hme By John And R e W s, Contributing e ditor L ONG a N option as a potential busi- ness segment for HM e providers, retail has garnered more interest in the era of Medicare competitive bidding and, as it has been for the past several years, is a major theme at Medtrade 2017. s everal presenta- tions will focus on retail at Medtrade, often referred to by show organizers as "caretail- ing" to give it an HM e specificity. t he retail concept has been adopted by HM e providers in various ways—with some focusing on commodities, aids to daily living and product accessories as a sideline, while others are either re-direct- ing their reimbursement-focused business mix toward retail or establishing retail-only outlets. " i t's mixed," said Maria Markusen, direc- tor of development for VGM r etail. "Often some of the most successful providers are cash-only stores without the complexity of third-party rules and billing. However, we also talk to traditional HM e s who supple- ment their business upwards of 25% by building incrementally. Both are trying to capture a larger market share." r ather than being the way to save the HM e industry, retail needs to be seen as a way to grow a business, Markusen said. " t hey can either transition with the changing healthcare consumer or create a cutting-edge model that captures a health and wellness consumer as they maneuver in a changing healthcare environment," she said. Wayne s lavitt, founder and C e O of Long Beach, Calif.-based Mobul, would like to see more HM e providers wean themselves off the reimbursement model. "Providers can no longer live in the insur- ance world—competitive bidding is the announcement that the market we knew will not return," he said. " t he future of the industry is not about trying to survive in a declining revenue model. t he industry still needs a jolt toward moving into retail." hme RETAIL: ATTENDEES STILL NEED JOLT

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