HME News

MAR 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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News 4 hme news / march 2018 / ■ The pressure is on to make changes to burdensome regs, says Kim Brummett. See story this page. Stakeholders ready to work with Azar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 AAHomecare sets sights on 'sideliners' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 HME Newspoll: Providers set goals for 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Texas: Officials eye Superior HealthPlan contract . . . . . . . 6 Briefs V a , hhs partner on fraud prevention WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Vet- erans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS are partnering to strengthen fraud prevention efforts. The agencies will share data, analytics tools and best practices for identifying and prevent- ing fraud, waste and abuse, according to a press release. The VA plans to capitalize on the advancements CMS has made in this area, particularly the agency's use of ad- vanced technology, statistics and analytics to improve fraud detection and prevention efforts. "We have a special obligation to keep America's promise to those who have served our country and ensure that veterans receive high-quality and accessible health care," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "CMS is sharing lessons learned and expertise to support VA to identify waste and fraud and eliminate these abuses of the public trust. Using state-of-the-art data analytics, CMS is partnering with VA to better detect and prevent wrongdoing in its programs." CMS estimates its program integrity efforts saved Medicare $17 billion in fiscal year 2015. hme / r T c ouncil has new leaders WASHINGTON – Missy Cross, administrative director of ProMedica, has taken the reins as chairwoman of AAHomecare's HME/ RT Council, after two years of serving as vice chair. Al Neumann, co-owner of Cor- ner Home Medical, will now serve as vice chair. Both Cross and Neumann have been actively involved in the industry. Cross, re- cipient of the inaugural Van Miller Homec- are Champion Award in 2016, also sits on the board of directors of AAHomecare and the Ohio Association of Medical Equip- ment Services. Neumann is the secretary of the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services and also serves on its board. The council planned to convene in February to finalize its 2018 goals. s tates ramp up message: Florida, m aine The Florida Alliance of Home Care Ser- vices recently joined forces with AAHomec- are to discuss patient access issues and managed care concerns with state officials in Tallahassee. Stakeholders met with rep- resentatives from the governor's office and the Agency for Health Care Administration. They also met with lawmakers, includ- ing Reps. Jose Oliva and Frank White. In a press release, FAHCS called the meet- ings "encouraging"…HOMES President and CEO Karyn Estrella and association members testified at a MaineCare public hearing on Jan. 29 regarding proposed changes to Medicaid regulations, including payment methodology. "We are concerned about the proposed implementation of the current Medicare fee schedule, since ac- cording to a recent study, these rates only cover approximately 88% of the provider's cost," Estrella said. By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor WASHINGTON – Industry efforts to lobby law- makers to pressure the Office of Manage- ment and Budget to release an interim final rule that would provide relief from Medi- care's competitive bidding program are moving the needle, stakeholders say. A number of providers have succeeded in getting their members of Congress to con- tact the OMB and its director, Mick Mul- vaney, about the IFR. "The pressure is mounting," said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for The VGM Group. The IFR would extend a delay to a sec- ond round of reimbursement cuts in non- bid areas from Aug. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2018. The reports back from the members of By Theresa F L aher T y, Managing e ditor WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders are casting a wider net for providers to build more support for a bill that would provide relief from Medicare's competitive bidding program. At press time, providers had helped to push the number of co-sponsors for H.R. 4229 to 119. "We've got a core group of providers that have advocated all along and that's terrific," said Tom Ryan, president and By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor I T T u R ns out, "What's one thing you plan to do differently with your busi- ness in 2018," isn't a very popular question to ask HME providers. Only two dozen people responded to our most recent HME n ewspoll, and some of them responded with tongue and cheek. "As of January 2018, the state of California passed legislation for the legalization of recreational marijuana," com- mented Bruce s andler of Wishing u Well Medical in Granada Hills, Calif. " s o this year, we're considering add- ing marijuana to our retail products. We'll include free samples with every purchase. It would probably be a lot more fun." If there were a theme to the paltry number of responses to the poll, it would be market- ing-related. Paul Reses of Lincoln Medical s upply in Pleasantville, n .J., says he plans to enhance his company's web presence and continually update its content to keep it "fresh." ATP Roger Lichty of Mobility Con- nections in Rockford, Ill., says he plans to focus his attention on "payers willing to pay a fair price" for his skills and products. And an anonymous respondent says he plans to "engage with more prospects through expanded use of the telephone, personal visits and social media." By Theresa F L aher T y, Managing e ditor WASHINGTON – HME issues took center stage at the inaugural meeting of a new CM s focus group aimed at putting "Patients Over Paperwork." The Provider Compliance Focus Group, which is expected to meet quarterly, discussed how reducing onerous regulations could help improve documenta- tion compliance. "You can imagine we probably spoke up more than anyone else in the room," said Kim Brum- mett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. "It's the same issues—we just bring them Industry stakeholders unrelenting on IFR AAH sets sights on 'sideliners' Congress who have contacted the OMB: "They say they're working on it," Gallagher says. "It's a non-committal commitment, but to me that's better than what we were getting, which was radio silence," he said. While stakeholders are simultaneously pushing both the release of the IFR and the passing of H.R. 4229, a bill that would provide similar relief, the IFR has taken precedence, at least in the short term. There are a number of pressing matters before Congress, like deadlines for funding the government and reforming immigration policies, that are making it difficult to get traction legislatively." hme An appeal for 'common sense' up over and over." Among those issues: CM s hasn't published official guid- ance that the effective data stamp requirement has been removed; providers report difficulties com- plying with the proof of delivery requirement; and the industry's pleas to bring back "common sense" clinical inference have so far fallen on mostly deaf ears. With President Donald Trump's pledge to reduce regu- lations on businesses, however, there's definitely a change in the air, says Brummett. ""I feel there's more inten- tion to make changes," she said. "There is pressure." hme Goal for 2018: 'Make money, not lose it' Dear chairman Norco Inc. and other members of the Pacific Association for Medical Equipment Services hosted Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee, at Norco's Bend, Ore., office in January. Walden participated in a tour of the office and a meet-and-greet. He also answered questions and heard concerns. Providers stressed with Walden the need to pass an interim final rule that would provide relief from Medicare's competitive bidding program in rural areas. S I d e l I N e r S S E E PA G E 6 Push for bid relief includes new Congressional Accountability Project m A k e M O N E y S E E PA G E 6 hme NEWS POLL John Gallagher paperwork

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