HME News

NOV 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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Smart Talk 10 www.hmenews.com / november 2017 / hme news patient data hipaa security Generate new revenue streams By Ryan Ball Q. h ow can i market to existing patients? a . HME providers work with hundreds of thousands of patients every year, helping to better man- age illness, and for seniors, pro- vide the ability to age comfort- ably at home. They provide care and are a trusted source for the products and services patients rely on day in and day out. Who better to provide recommenda- tions on additional products that can enhance the care or quality of living than a patient's trusted in- home HME provider? When it comes to marketing, an HME provider can contact an existing patient if they have received written permission to do so, or have provided a Medicare- covered item within 15 months preceding the direct marketing tactic. Tactics include an email, phone call or hard copy advertise- ment and must focus on a health- related product or service that can be provided by the HME. For example, Medicare benefi- ciaries can receive up to four CPAP masks annually, but many patients do not fulfill a resupply order more than once a year. As long as there is no direct compensation provided to the HME for marketing a specific product, an HME can contact the patient, discuss their CPAP utiliza- tion and determine if new resupply equipment is needed. This is stan- dard practice that all HMEs should be utilizing for quality and timely resupply programs. In addition to increasing resup- ply, the HME can also discuss/ provide information on additional items that are commonly sought after for patients utilizing specific types of HME equipment. Addi- tional cash pay items provide a service to the patient, potentially increasing their quality of life, and also provide a great new revenue stream for the HME. hme Ryan Ball is director of VGM Market Data. Reach him at ryan.ball@vgm. com. c reate security checklist By E BB a Blitz Q. What are some basic steps i can take to reduce a cyber attack? a . October is National Cyber Secu- rity Awareness Month. It is the perfect time to evaluate your own data breach risk. Don't leave the keys on your D oorstep Encrypt your hard drive. This will protect all information stored on your computer. l ogin passwor D s store D in your browser Sensitive data isn't only stored on devices directly but is often acces- sible via online storage services that allow users to remotely access company data in the cloud. How- ever, if you have clicked "remem- ber my password," an unencrypted device will show your password to a perpetrator in clear text. p atching All your devices and systems need to be current and updated. The easiest way to stay updated is to simply turn on automatic updates for your devices. a nti-virus Just like you wouldn't let termites eat up your house, you should have anti-virus installed. Just realize it doesn't protect you from everything! p asswor D s These are the keys to your house. Yes, it bugs us that there are so many and that we need to remem- ber them all. One easy solution is to try to think of a passphrase. "I love that my dog has four legs!" would result in Iltmdh4l!—upper case, lower case, a number and a special sign. And it's easy to remember. a uthentication Apply two-factor authentication for secure access to cloud or net- work data. w hen in D oubt, throw it out Take a moment before you click on anything. Check the sender's URL before clicking. If it looks bad, it probably is. Delete and mark as junk. hme Ebba Blitz is CEO of AlertSec. Reach her at ebba@alertsec.com.

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