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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Smart Talk Business Summit Sept. 16-18, 2018 • The DeSoto • Savannah, Ga. Networking Save the date! Business education New ideas The HME News Business Summit will help you: • Focus on the "big picture" • Network with other HME execs from across the country • Learn best practices from the experts and talk with them one-on-one • Return to the office recharged with new business ideas and goals hme news / may 2018 / 9 e ngaged Te C hnology Connect the circle By Val o rnoy Q. What are care circles? a . As we live longer, it is normal to experience mild memory loss, and to be aware of the unfortu- nate consequence of cognitive decline and diagnosis of demen- tia and Alzheimer's disease. Care technology can manage, monitor, personalize, predict trends and modify behavior that will assist seniors with declining memory with engagement and support. An engaged and connected care circle increases the time one can age- in-place and receive the needed support of caregivers and family. The evolution of the care circle plays an important role in pro- moting and maintaining care- related engagement. For those that watched Little House on the Prairie, the care circle was the community and Dr. Hiram Baker, all within a horse ride when needed. Today, a dynamic care circle enabled by a SaaS platform and connected to mobile and IoT devices can manage the data, daily tasks and activities, and provide an easily customizable, HIPAA-compliant, bi-directional care platform—across websites, smart phones, iPads, etc.—assist- ing care recipients and the care network in providing real-time care and collaboration. Care circles deliver an elegant, personalized and connected expe- rience before, during and after care episodes. The list of features is expanding, but here are some of the most popular: real-time health data and repository, adher- ence to medication and care plans, calendaring and communication (text, voice, video, virtual), patient engagement/education and care protocols/discharge. Senior-centric connectivity pro- vides the patient with the peace of mind that everyone in their health- care team is always on the same page. hme Val Ornoy is CEO of LifeAssist Technologies. Reach him at val@lat. care. l egal Tread lightly with telehealth prescriptions By t o DD Moo D y Q. Can my patients obtain a prescription based on a phone call with a prescribing practitioner that my company or a third-party marketing company pays for? A. There is a good chance the prescription issued will not be valid, and the payment for the tele- health encounter could be prob- lematic under an anti-kickback statute. For a prescribing practitioner, such as a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, to issue a valid prescription, the practitioner must first establish a practitioner-patient relationship. Most states now allow a practitio- ner to establish this relationship by way of a telehealth encounter. But most states also specify that a satisfactory telehealth encoun- ter must involve technology that enables real-time, two-way, audio- visual communications. So, in these states, an initial encounter between a prescribing practitioner and a patient that occurs over the telephone is not sufficient to estab- lish a practitioner-patient relation- ship. And a prescription issued in the absence of an adequate prac- titioner-patient relationship is not valid. Even if the prescription is valid, the Federal Anti-Kickback Stat- ute (AKS) prohibits a supplier from giving a person something of value to induce the person to purchase an item covered by a federal health care program. Fur- ther, all states have their own AKS, and some states have an AKS that applies regardless of how the item is being paid for (e.g., Medicaid, commercial insurance, cash). So if a DME supplier or its marketing company pays the cost of a prac- titioner visit, this could be seen as an inducement for the patient to purchase the prescribed item from the DME supplier in violation of an AKS. Arrangements involving tele- health encounters arranged and paid for by a DME supplier or its third-party marketing company should be scrutinized closely. hme Todd Moody is a healthcare attorney with Brown & Fortunato. Reach him at

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