HME News

AUG 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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News 6 WWW.HMENEWS.COM / AUGUST 2019 / HME NEWS BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor BISMARCK, N.D. – When you say Barb Stockert, the recipient of the 2019 AAHomecare/Mal Mixon Legisla- tive Advocate Award, lives and breathes advocacy, it's not a cliché. Stockert, who works in govern- ment relations for Sanford Health- Care, tells the story of how she and her husband were in a casino years ago and they found out it was so crowded because Kent Conrad, a U.S. senator at the time, was there. "A bell went off in my head, 'Ding, ding, ding, I've got to do something,'" she said. "I approached him there and it was the start of a relationship that we had down the road." Here's what Stockert, a long- time member of AAHomecare's State Leaders and HME/RT coun- cils and the contact for more than 20 congressional offices for the association's Grassroots Account- ability Project, had to say about why she's always thinking about the people who need HME and the companies that serve them. HME NEWS: In addition to AAHomecare, you're involved in NRRTS and three state and region- al HME associations, including MAMES, where you're the co-state chairperson for North Dakota and a member of the board of direc- tors. Why is advocacy so ingrained Stockert stands up for HME in you? Barb Stockert: I enjoy what I do, and I love this industry. And I really want the best for the people we serve and if you want that, it all goes hand in hand, including regulatory and legislative work. It all works together. HME: How does advocacy help get "the best for people"? Stockert: You have to make Con- gress and CMS and Medicaid understand that there are people who can't speak for themselves. These people have to accept what the government tells them they have to accept, and it's not right. There are things that need to be changed, and they need some- one to help them change it. That's where all of these groups come into play. There's so much passion and commitment. HME: When you look at what you've accomplished in your advo- cacy work over the years, what sticks out? Stockert: I think it has to be the professional friendships that I've made along the way and the les- sons I've learned. I think about how MAMES taught me this and VGM this and AAH this. I have someone to thank at every one of those levels, as well as the people I work with, who want the same things as me. Advocacy is a group effort. HME 'Advocacy is a group effort' the products. Even if a provider is on sound legal ground, there's also the question of product selection. Thirty one percent of respon- dents to the poll say they strug- gle with how to ensure quality, when there are a multitude of largely unregulated options. "We decided to add CBD products to our store as a con- venience to our mostly complex rehab patients, the majority of whom use CBD in one form or another," wrote Shalon James of Access2mobility in Tyler, Texas. "We made sure they receive a quality product as a lot of the items offered in this area are only available from smoke shops or online, and they are not really regulated (by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration), so you can't be sure of what it is you're getting." Lori Sears of Active Home Medical Supply examined manu- facturers closely before jumping into the market. "We already sell it and it's going pretty well," she said. "We needed to be sure the manufac- turer met high standards and will not sell any generic brands." Respondents not considering adding CBD products to their business say it doesn't align with their mission. "It was never the intent of our business to sell such kinds of products," wrote one respon- dent. "I think it is bad for our overall industry to walk down this road." HME A new "Business Leadership and People Strategies" track featured sessions to help business own- ers and people managers navi- gate the changing workforce. One well-attended session in the track, "Millennials: The Future of DME Staff," encour- aged attendees to plan ahead for the employees who will be replacing retirees. By 2025, mil- lennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—will make up 75% of the workforce and will have different expectations than previous generations, such as placing a higher value on work- place satisfaction. "You need to begin searching now," said Rachel Duda, mar- keting assistant for Springfield, Mass.-based Louis & Clark Medical Supply. "Somebody is going to have to fill that void in your knowledge base." Another segment of the work- force earning some attention at the conference: LGBT employ- ees, who are becoming more vis- ible, says Keenan Crow, director HEARTLAND C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 ABOVE: THE EXHIBIT HALL con- nected Heartland Conference attendees with more than 70 exhibitors. Left: Craig Douglas, vice president of payer and mem- ber relations for The VGM Group, addresses attendees during his and Ronda Buhrmester's session, "Knowing and Understanding Contracts with Payers." WEBSITE C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 of policy and advocacy at One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ advo- cacy organization. "It feels safer and more peo- ple are going public," he said. CBD CALLING C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 more, but we feel pretty posi- tive about these numbers," said Kim Brummett, vice pre- isdent of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. A group of stakeholders comprised of AAHomecare, the Council for Respirato- ry Care, VGM & Associates and the Healthcare Nutrition Council launched the website in April to educate provid- ers about changes to Round 2021of the program and to help them prepare their bids. One of the more important features of the website is cal- culators that allow providers to see how the new lead-item bidding methodology will impact rates for other related items in the 16 product cat- egories. Those calculators have been downloaded 4,224 times since April 24, with the calculator for CPAP and RAD downloaded the most (701), followed by commode chairs (381) and oxygen (363). "Once you download a cal- culator, you don't have to do it again, so to me that's a good sign that a lot of providers are pulling them," Brummett said. "There are manufacturers and consul- tants pulling them, too, but we feel they're mostly providers." In addition to the website, stakeholders hosted a "Bid Smart" Summit in Nashville on June 5 that drew about 130 attendees. "We keep saying, 'You need to bid smart,'" she said. HME BRIEFS Medicare overpaid for PSG services, says OIG report WASHINGTON – Medicare made payments to providers for poly- somnography services that did not meet billing requirements, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. Of 200 randomly selected Medi- care beneficiaries, payments were made for 117 that met bill- ing requirements with 276 corre- sponding lines of services, and for 83 that did not meet require- ments with 150 corresponding lines of services, resulting in net overpayments of $56,668, ac- cording to the OIG. Based on the sample results, the agency estimates Medicare made over- payments of $269 million for polysomnography services. AAH seeks nominations for homecare champion WASHINGTON – AAHomecare seeks nominations for the 2019 Van Miller Homecare Champion. The award, which recognizes an AAHomecare member who has made an exceptional contribu- tion to the homecare industry, will be presented at the Stand Up for Homecare reception at Medtrade. Last year's recipient was Regina Gillispie, resident and owner of Best Home Medical in West Vir- ginia. Nominations can be submit- ted to Sue Mairena at suem@aa- by Friday, Aug. 23. "More and more, they are look- ing for validation. If they are not getting that from their employ- er they might look to work elsewhere." HME Medicare data at your nger tips

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