HME News

SEP 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 24

News 4 WWW . HMENEWS . COM / SE p TEM b ER 2018 / HME NEWS There is still money to be made when you change the way you think about your respiratory program. RETHINKING YOUR RESPIRATORY PROGRAM DAVE LYMAN, RRT, VP, VGM RESPIRATORY Download today at! Members download for free! Don't forget to check out the other five installments. to $72.59 per month, because the offset would be spread across the proposed seven classes. Stakeholders say the majority of providers no longer provide liquid equipment and liq- uid contents, which is one reason why CMS seeks to make the changes. "I think this is an obvious recognition by the agency that they, along with the pul- monary community, are concerned for liq- uid," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. "So in that regard, this is good." Stakeholders plan to argue in their com- ments that if CMS creates separate classes for liquid equipment and liquid contents there need to be corresponding policies that specify the qualifications for this modality. "You need to make sure that there's a true medical need," Bachenheimer said. A bigger deal than the separate classes, however, remains CMS's insistence that it must apply a budget neutrality offset for oxygen products. With competitive bidding now in place, stakeholders have argued that this creates a "double dip" in reimbursement. A provision in H.R. 4229 would eliminate the offset for products included in the bid program. "It's clear now from this rule that CMS has dug its heels even deeper, when it comes to budget neutrality, and we have no choice but to address the issue through Congress," Bachenheimer said. hme "Sen. l indsey Graham, R-S.C., doesn't care about us as an industry and (based on) previous comments from him he believes that competitive bidding is great," wrote one respondent. "He doesn't want to hear the truth about it." Other respondents, however, have submitted comments to the IFR and plan to call or visit with their lawmakers. "Small business owners are having to look at their friends and neighbors, and decide if they can afford to help them or not in the future," wrote Jerry Roberts of A Plus Medical Equipment in Dexter, Mo. "Despite the full-court press, there is still much to be done to change the landscape." Those respondents say with another rule now up for comment—this one detailing CMS's plans to extend relief through Dec. 31, 2020, and make sev- eral positive changes to the bid program going forward—now's not the time to back off from lobbying. "If we don't drive change, nobody else will," wrote Greg Dunn of Alpine Home Medical in Salt l ake City. "Pro- viders standing on the sidelines need to get involved or they will get what's coming." hme HAVO c C o n T I n u E D F R o M PA G E 3 By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor WATERLOO, Iowa – A CMS work group on elec- tronic medical documentation could go a long way toward relieving one of the HME industry's biggest pain points: better docu- mentation, says the VGM Group's Ronda Buhrmester. "We've seen suppliers struggling to get better documentation from physicians for years," said Buhrmester, a reimbursement specialist. "Doctors don't put the proper information in medical records. It's not inten- tional; they don't know what to put in there. And now suppliers are pushing back: 'We need better documentation.'" VGM announced recently that it had joined the work group, which has bi-monthly conference calls. One way to get better documentation is developing templates for physicians to use. Buhrmester says one of the first goals of the work group is helping to further develop templates for home oxygen therapy and dia- betes supplies. "The templates do not direct doctors, which CMS doesn't like," she said, "but they help to make sure they touch on all the cov- erage criteria." The return to templates is an irony that's not lost on Buhrmester, but she says CMS has recognized that this "reactive game" of back- and-forth between physicians and suppliers for the correct documentation costs time and money. "I know we feel like CMS doesn't listen, but they are listening," she said. "It just takes time to change things, with making sure all the steps are being followed." Bigger picture, the work group has also targeted as a goal: advancing the secure and standardized electronic data exchange for medical documentation requests and responses. " u nless you're a DME company that's part of a health system, you're not likely to have access to electronic medical records," Buhrmester said. "That will be very benefi- cial—when we get there." As part of its work with the group, VGM plans to survey its provider members to get the lay of the land for electronic documenta- tion in the HME industry. "I'd say 70% of suppliers, maybe more, are using an electronic system," Buhrmester said. "It's more efficient and saves money. More and more companies are making the switch." hme VGM Group gets to work e lectronic documentation LETHARG y C o n T I n u E D F R o M PA G E 3 medtrade booth 1627

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of HME News - SEP 2018