HME News

FEB 2019

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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Rx and Specialty Providers hme news / february 2019 / 17 p I tt SBURG h – Highmark will increase the ability of their members to receive home infusion starting Jan. 1. As part of a new site of care program from the health insurer's pharmacy team, members will be able to receive infusion therapies in their home, doctor's office or at an infusion site, pending a prior authorization process, instead of in a hospital outpatient setting. "By receiving infusion therapies at other sites, members can reduce transportation times, see more flexibility in their schedules and receive their treatment in a more comfortable and private environ- ment," said Sarah Marche, vice president, Pharmacy Services. Ini- moneyline Highmark prioritizes home infusion for its members tially, the change will be applicable to fully insured commercial mem- bers in all regions of Highmark's core insurance markets Infu c are r x makes buy AS t ON, p a. – InfuCare Rx has acquired Factor One Source Fast Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy focused on conditions related to hemophilia, rheumatology, dermatology, immu- noglobulin therapy and gastroen- terology. The Cumberland, Md.- based Factor One, with branch locations in l ouisiana and Texas, can serve all 50 states, according to a press release. The deal is in line with InfuCare's plans to integrate and expand its services, said Deven Patel, InfuCare CEO. s oleo o P ens locat I on I n bI rm I n G ham MCKINNEY, t exas – Soleo Health has opened a specialty infusion pharmacy in Birmingham, Ala., expanding the company's foot- print to 19 locations nationwide, with licensure in all 50 states. The 4,000-square-foot location features a sterile pharmacy com- plex equipped with state-of-the- art compounding capabilities. It offers patients the flexibility of receiving their care in their homes or on-site in one of three ambula- tory infusion suites. " w e selected this area as a complement to our Mobile, Ala., location" said Drew w alk, CEO. HME pharmacy," said Jennifer Charron, vice president for clinical servic- es at NHIA. "A lot of things are changing, with new technology and products coming into the space and so many new medica- tions coming out." This year's event is slated for March 9-13 in Orlando, Fla. The educational programming brings back longtime favorites like roundtable sessions, as well as builds upon two certificate pro- grams introduced last year: a ster- ile compounding clinic and home infusion nursing essentials, says Charron. The conference also shines a light on issues making headlines in the broader medical world, with sessions on medical mari- juana and the opioid crisis, says Charron. "Medical cannabis is some- thing that is happening in our space," she said. "How do we manage patients who are on that? And the opioid epidemic is hitting hard in all states, but we have to have effective pain management for patients while reducing future risk." l ines are blurring within the business side of home infusion, too, says Charron, particularly between sales and clinical care. Industry expert l ouis Feuer will guide attendees through strat- egies to engage and recognize employees. "Everybody is a salesperson or a representative of the organiza- tion," she said. "From the clini- cians working with physicians to create the orders to the person who is handling the billing. w hat does that feel like and what are the ways to do it?" w oven throughout the con- ference—and even ahead of it—is a new payment model for home infusion and the tem- porary transitional payment, which went into effect Jan. 1, says Charron. " w e're doing a lot of educa- tion prior to the conference and will provide an update on the current state of Medicare cover- age and where we'd like to move it," she said. "It's a big thing for the industry to have some level of payment structure for patient services." HME more than 6,000 patients, has commissioned KPMG to under- take a multi-phase study on the use of non-invasive vents in treating chronic respiratory fail- ure and COPD. The first results, released in October, show that patients using vents at home have the lowest overall costs and hospital rates, a win-win for everyone. Speaking of winners, providers say they are seeing an increase in interest for travel CPAPs, in our No. 3 most read specialty story, "Travel CPAP ready for 'next wave.'" Not only do the portable devices make it easier for sleep Cross is training for and hopes to compete in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. So far, SDSU has one track and field and three wheelchair ten- nis athletes; however, the school hopes to add aquatics and wheel- chair basketball to its offerings, as well as recruit more student- athletes by spreading the word at high school competitions and events. " w e're hoping to get a lot of kids from California, because until now they had to go out of state in order to (compete) in college," said Jones. Universities with adaptive sports programs have two things going for them, says l isa w ells, vice president of marketing at Cure Medical. "If schools want to stand out as being progressive on social issues as well as a leader in sports programs, then adding adaptive sports is the way to go to improve and expand on their community reputation," she said. HME next round of bidding, it's any- body's guess, but Bachenheimer anticipates it will be sooner rather than later. " w e are guessing within the next month or two, we will start to see CMS's initial announce- ments about schedules of when things will be happening," she said. "CMS had indicated they are committed to education, because this is such a different bidding process." w ith the government shut- down heading into a fourth week, there's not a lot getting done in Congress, so stakehold- ers say it's too soon to predict when any new HME-related leg- islation, including a new version of H.R. 4229, could get intro- duced. That bill, which would have delayed a second round of reimbursement cuts, garnered 158 co-sponsors. " w e've got our work cut out for us identifying what are the priori- ties and who are the champions that will carry the torch for us," said John Gallagher, vice presi- dent of government relations for VGM. In addition to the chaos of the shutdown, there are many new faces on Capitol Hill. Many com- mittee assignments haven't been identified yet, and newly elected lawmakers are still staffing their offices. "That's a big deal—that's where we make a lot of our progress," said Gordon Barnes, director of communications for AAHomec- are. "A lot of things are still in flux with staffers and new people. It's a challenge for everybody." HME S t AKE h OLDERS , CMS MEE t c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 apnea patients to stick with their therapy, the devices actually look "cool," a description not typical- ly applied to DME. Rounding out the list is our No. 4 most read specialty pro- vider story, "Mail-order changes a 'good first step.'" The 2019 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services included provisions that would require CMS to enforce its own rules for the national mail-order diabetes program, thus preserv- ing beneficiary access, which in turn, has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce hospitalizations. HME v EN t S DOMINA t E IN 2018 c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e a good thing. HME: What do you find most rewarding about orthotics? Hewlett: w hen I make a differ- ence in someone's life it gives me goose bumps. As a market- ing person, I was taught to watch my profit and loss statement on a daily basis. Once I started get- ting goose bumps, I left all that to my accountant and worked for goose bumps. The more I got, the checkbook kind of took care of itself. HME Milwaukee to expand its respira- tory and enteral nutrition to the entire state of w isconsin. w ith the backing of InTandem, PHS, which looks to grow both organically and through acquisi- tions, will spend the first part of 2019 mapping out an expansion plan, says Hamman. " w e're in the process of look- ing at what makes sense, whether N h IA UNBLURS th E LINES c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e ADA pt I v E c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e j IM h E w LE tt c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e that's offering the full-service line that we provide now or whether it makes more sense to offer partial lines in certain areas," he said. Although more care is shifting to the home, there's a particular emphasis on keeping medically fragile children out of the hospi- tal setting, says Hamman. " w e can provide the same level of care at home at a much cheaper price," he said. " w e are the experts in how to do it." HME ph S AND p E c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1

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