HME News

DEC 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

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Providers 14 WWW.HMENEWS.COM / DECEMBER 2018 / HME NEWS BY THERESA FLAHERTY, Managing Editor L ESLIE NORWALK is a former CMS acting administrator. These days, in her role on CareCentrix's board of directors, she loves being closer to the pro- vider side of things. "CMS is often seen as a big, black box," she said. "I think it's important to demystify that government agency and help providers understand how regulators think." HME NEWS: What will your back- ground allow you to bring to the table? Leslie Norwalk: I like to con- sider the future of what the U.S. healthcare system can be and the impediments to getting there. I help companies like CareCentrix navigate Medicare and Medicaid requirements, and how to inno- vate within the requirements or work with regulators to update the requirements for the quickly changing healthcare environment, in order to provide higher quality care at a lower cost. HME: How have you seen healthcare change since your time at CMS? Norwalk: Health care is on the cusp of dramatic change, but the piec- es are just starting to come together. And just in time. Employers are growing increasingly frustrated with current healthcare benefit designs. I think the data that are available, and the information that we can glean from that data to really target the best approaches for patients, is rapidly coming to market in many forms. A paradigm shift is needed in proving care, and big data provides the ability to make difference in a way that hasn't been seen before. Other changes will be required to take advantage of this ability, and the good news is that HHS seems willing to consider what might be needed on the regulatory side. HME: Do you believe it's truly possible to cre- a t e p a t i e n t - c e n t e r e d care when there is so much focus on cutting reimbursement? Norwalk: Of course. Providing the right care for the right patient based on data eliminates a suffi- cient amount of waste in the sys- tem. Better to pay for high-quality care than to pay for unnecessary hospital visits and or other com- plications that add costs to the system, due to substandard care. HME: What do you think are some of healthcare's biggest challenges or its biggest innovations, in terms of patient-centered, in home care? Norwalk: Often challenges and opportunities go together. More and more, technology and other types of innovation allow patients to be treated at home, whereas before they had to be in a skilled nursing or other inpatient facil- ity. But the success of home care often depends on things outside of the traditional healthcare sys- tem. These social determinants of health are rapidly being recognized as an important part of the success (or failure) of treating patients at home. Treating healthcare prob- lems in a more holistic fashion can increase the likelihood that imped- iments to a patient's wellbeing can be removed and the results of care at home be maximized. HME OLD MODEL VS. NEW MODEL While LTCs and SNFs histori- cally buy equipment from large national distributors, smaller providers can shift their mindset from simply buying the cheapest product with the click of a but- ton to the cost effectiveness and value-add of partnering with an HME provider. "Facilities have a lot of finan- cial constraints," said Tony Crisitello, senior vice president, LTC division, for Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare. "If you can do any- thing to help them improve their balance sheet, they'll talk." LOCAL ADVANTAGE The LTCs and SNFs in your own backyard are the obvious place to start, particularly if you already have referral relationships with the rehab, OT/PT and other pro- fessionals working for them. "We're already in the neigh- borhood, (tell them), 'Let us help you too,'" said Ben Pardus, supervisor of decision support for MedCare Equipment Compa- ny. "You can get it there quicker than the other guys." HME "(Now), providers are either turn- ing them away or charging them for those services. We do a little bit of both." Respiratory prod- ucts like portable oxygen concentra- tors and, increasing- ly, CPAP machines and supplies, make up the bulk of what people seek help with, providers say. Integrated Home Services charges anywhere from $25 to $50 to repair or assemble a prod- uct bought elsewhere, but it will help out with the small stuff where and when it can, says Mark Hatch, president and owner of the Rockford, Ill.- based company. "If it's a loose rolla- tor wheel or a manu- al wheelchair missing arm pads, we defi- nitely won't charge for those," he said. "Or maybe it's someone traveling and they forgot part of their CPAP mask; if we've got it in our sample closet, we'll give it to them." It makes good business sense to be helpful because they might convert an online shopper into a new customer, say providers. "You may not see those people right away, but I think a lot will think twice about where they buy their next piece of equipment, so if you can, give them a good deal and try to break even," said Hagen. "Sometimes, it's worth it.'" HME LONG-TERM C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 1 3 PROVIDERS NOW CHARGING SERVICE FEES C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 1 3 CareCentrix's Norwalk thinks outside 'black box' "I think a lot will think twice about where they buy their next piece of equipment." Eric Hagen, Bayside Home Medical Leslie Norwalk CareCentrix re-ups URAC accreditation HARTFORD, Conn. – CareCentrix has earned URAC accreditation in health utilization manage- ment, demonstrating a compre- hensive commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes, ac- cording to a press release. "The accreditation recognizes our commitment to patients, pro- viders and payers, and inspires us to continue to build a better healthcare system that recog- nizes the value of home care, and delivers reduced costs of care and lower readmissions through the use of innovative technology," said John Driscoll, CEO. CareCentrix has held the accreditation since 2009. Networking Education New ideas March 10-12, 2019 ÃȳÀÀ³Ü®I¨vçv(³È¨ƥ:Ü?À¨v®ÃƜ4 Save the date!

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