HME News

MAY 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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New Products billing systems c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 8 requirements." Kent Barnes, director of marketing for Brentwood, Tenn.-based Team DME!/Spec- trum Software echoes the assertions that an integrated system boosts customer service to an optimal level. "When customers are unable to quickly get information on their order status, can't get issues resolved in a timely manner, or must frequently deal with products being out of stock, they will be less satisfied and less likely to continue purchasing from you," he said. "An integrated software system ensures that customers have the right information and customer experience and that your employ- ees have the instantaneous access to all the customer information they need to service, sell to your customers and make sure you will get paid." The integration points and whether the application can accept and provide elec- tronic data to ensure more accuracy in shar- ing patient data should be considered, said Kimberly Commito, director of product man- agement, Home Care Solutions, for Lisle, Ill.- based Mediware Information Systems. "Of course, this brings with it a respon- sibility to ensure that the application is HIPAA compliant and secure in general," she said. "The ability to accept various forms of electronic payment should be considered as well—credit card, debit card and electronic checks are important to consider." Another option for providers is to con- sider a partner for billing and collections, said Bruce Gehring, senior vice president of development, Allegiance Group in Overland Park, Kan. "You can eliminate the need to man- age multiple vendor relationships so you can concentrate on your operations and investigate ways to boost your revenue," he said. "The most important factor to consider is the philosophy of their billing partner. Any partner is an extension of its reputation, so the software/system should be a true partner—following the HME's business rules and treating its customers with respect." hme 22 / may 2018 / hme news Periodicals postage paid at Yarmouth, ME and additional mailing office. HME News (ISSN 10913823) is published monthly by United Publications, Inc., 106 Lafayette St., PO Box 998, Yarmouth, ME 04096; 207-846-0600. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material or prices quoted in the magazine. Contributors are responsible for proprietary classified information. ©2018 by United Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher is expressly prohibited. Reprints may be obtained from The YGS Group at 717- 505-9701, ext. 100. Back issues, when available, cost $7 each within the past 12 months, $12 each prior to the past 12 months. Back issue orders must be paid in advance either by check or charged to American Express, Visa, or Master Card. HME News is distributed without charge in North America to qualified home medical equipment providers. Paid print subscriptions to those not qualified cost $65 annually to the U.S. and Canada and $150 to all other countries. All payments must be made in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank. For subscriber services, including subscription information, please call 800-869-6882. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HME News, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-1888. its omnibus bill a statement encouraging" CMS to "promulgate" the IFR. "It's been a challenge—it's not just a rural issue, it's a national issue," he said. Beyond immediate relief, AAHomecare continues to work with CMS on long-term fixes to competitive bidding, including pres- suring the agency to use historical claims data to determine supplier capacity; and remove its authority to bundle payments for CPAP and standard power wheelchairs. AAHomecare also plans to more closely monitor the Medicare Payment and Adviso- sources—with more than 400 branches and a large sales force at its disposal, the provider has no shortage of avenues to get the word out about the platform and its cost saving benefits, which are open to all DME prescribers and providers. "We bear the burden and the cost of having to service these orders in a mar- ket where DME reimbursement rates are declining," said Worden. "So when orders come in at a higher quality, Apria, like all suppliers, benefits from lower- cost processing." hme providers should look for when selecting a reputable outsourcing vendor: 4 All audits should be completed by an outside agency to ensure compliance with standards and safeguards. Vendors lacking an adequate audit trail create uncertainty in the integrity of records and open them- selves up to legal liability or criminal activity. 4 The vendor should be SOC 2 compliant, or at a minimum, compli- ant with SSAE-16 rules. SOC 2 is a set of stan- dards related to the secu- rity, processing integrity, availability, confidential- ity and privacy of data. This standardized criterion plays an important role in inter- nal risk management and prevention of regulatory oversight. 4 Finding a vendor that conducts onsite visits to production facilities is a must. The vendor also needs to have the fol- lowing basic items included in their stan- dards and safeguards compliance plan: 4 Biometric access controlled produc- tion centers; 4 Closed circuit cameras that cover all angles of the production center with a "Robust integrated business management platforms allow for much wider analysis and perspective—perspectives that cannot be seen when systems, and the data they gather, are bunched up in silos," she said. "An inte- grated system prevents business processes fragmentation because the entire business process is managed under a single system, not two or more, which can lead to ineffi- ciencies, data duplication and human errors." Leveraging automation Rob Boeye, HME executive vice president for Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Brightree, says the insight gained from looking across the financial landscape can be used to improve the patient and referral source experience. "With the compression in the indus- try, you need to differentiate yourself with patients and referral sources," he said. "The business management platform gives you visibility into all areas of the operation, which provides a deeper understanding of improving service levels. I recommend using management software that improves patient intake from referrals, has a good inventory management system, claims fil- ing that allows auto response and audits and the big one is analytics." Because cash flow is the lifeblood of the company, analytics charts key performance indicators regarding collections, days out- standing levels and resupply efficiencies. And while cash flow is the lifeblood, inven- tory is the heart of the HME business, said Wayne Bailey, director of client services for Bonafide Management Services of Thousand Oaks, Calif. "All business functions must tie direct- ly back to inventory control and manage- ment," he said. "Once you put inventory at the heart of your business software, you can establish a program flow that ensures maxi- mum margins. The flow takes into account and adjusts in real time for the cost of the item, reimbursement on the item, CPT code, modifier, compliance documents and payer CGS Administrators, the MAC for jurisdic- tions B and C, that nothing short of a "physi- cal assessment" is adequate. "They're not budging," said Sylvia Tosca- no, president of Professional Medical Admin- istrators in Boca Raton, Fla., who has been corresponding with CGS. "They say they're going to issue a new checklist or FAQ that states a physical assessment is required, which is not in the LCD." In an email CGS states that, "Since the MWC is being ordered for in-home use and a home assessment is part of the Medicare requirement, the supplier must do a physi- cal assessment of the home to ensure safety and effective use of the chair within that environment, regardless of where it's deliv- ered." That last part—"regardless of where it's delivered"—is the kicker, stakeholders say. When providers deliver to homes, they do home assessments directly, but when they deliver to hospitals for discharges they typi- cally do them indirectly. "No one goes to the home to do an assess- ment and then delivers to a hospital—if the minimum of 90 days of video recording; 4 Physically disabled PCs with no PIN drive access, so no files can be saved on a remote device; 4 No cameras or cell phones on the production floor, and lockers should be provided to each employee to store per- sonal items outside of the production floor; 4 White listing is used to control website access, to ensure employees are only able to access approved sites; 4 No email or instant messaging platform is allowed for any employee; and 4 All system access is controlled by an administrator in the United States. Outsourcing can be a highly effective solution to gain a competitive edge. By leveraging the right outsourcing partner, HME providers can better manage change and move toward a more flexible operat- ing environment. Selecting the right ven- dor requires very careful evaluation. Look for a vendor that demonstrates expertise, provides compliant solutions that drive efficiencies and ensures you have maxi- mum security to avoid costly mistakes. hme John Moore is Brightree's vice president of rev- enue cycle management. heed outsourcing standards c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 6 patient is in the hospital, they're not even home," Toscano said. "Are providers sup- posed to deliver to the hospital then follow the patient to their home to do the assess- ment? Does the date stamp on the assess- ment have to be prior to delivery? It opens a whole can of worms." The apparent change also makes providing man- ual wheelchairs directly from showrooms imprac- tical, stakeholders say. "It, in effect, ends our ability to deliver manual chairs to a hospi- tal or provide them from our stores," said David Bruinsma, CEO and seating specialist at Colonial Medical Supplies in Altamonte Springs, Fla. "It's concerning." Stakeholders plan to continue pressing CGS for feedback on why it appears to be changing its stance on indirect home assess- ments for manual wheelchairs. "I understand why they're doing it, but it doesn't fit how HMEs operate," Toscano said. hme home assessments get physical c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 ry Committee, after being caught off-guard by a recent report that recommended CMS expand the bid program to include more product categories such as off-the-shelf orthotics and urological supplies. The asso- ciation has created a workgroup to develop white papers and make recommendations to MedPAC ahead of its next report, expected in June. "We needed to go on the offense," said Kim Brummett, vice president of payer rela- tions. "We're included in the June report; it probably won't be any better for us." hme bid reform efforts continue c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 apria health c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 Sylvia Toscano VG m Group, Inc. Industry Snapshots: Forecasting 2018 Industry Snapshots: Forecasting 2018 is VGM's free downloadable playbook, which includes 12 articles that cover areas related to compliance, data and security, mega trends, tax bill implications and the economy. Content was devel- oped by VGM's thought leaders and is a high-level overview of a number of pressing topics and opportunities facing providers and vendors alike. Download at OxyGo OxyCare Total Advantage Help your patients buy more home healthcare equipment from you with the NEW OxyCare Total Advantage patient financing program. The total in "OxyCare Total Advantage" means a win-win for you and your patients. There is virtually nothing in your store that can't be financed and sold right on the spot. More sales for you. More flexibility for your patients. https://oxygo. L ife/financing/ Outsourcing can be a highly effective solution to gain a competitive edge.

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