HME News

JUL 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 6 www.h M e N ew S . COM / july 2018 / h M e N ew S The job of stakeholders now: Educating lawmakers that, while it provides relief, the IFR doesn't go far enough and legisla- tive relief is needed, they say. "A number of offices forwarded me the IFR when it was released, saying, 'Isn't this the IFR you were looking for!'" said Cara Bachenheimer, chair of the Government Affairs Group at Brown & Fortunato. "The first impression was, 'This is it; this is great.' So we're going through the pain- ful analysis of spelling out everything for everyone state by state." In what's becoming a constant balanc- ing act, stakeholders are also continu- ing to have conversations with CMS in an attempt to help shape changes to the program for Round 2019, something the agency acknowledges in the IFR must happen. The details of those changes, however, much like the IFR, won't be known until CMS publishes its "CY 2019 Changes to the End-Stage Renal Diseases Prospective Payment System," likely in late June. "We're an industry living in crisis and that's a story we continue to bring to them," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. "We need relief and we need a long-term fix. We've heard from CMS that they're working on it." HM e cr ISIS c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 3 to develop an infrastructure capable of economically assisting patients under the bid program." With approximately 40% of suppliers closing their doors in just the past few years, access has become an issue. Some contract suppliers see extending their contracts as their moral duty. " A c c e p t i n g t h e e x t e n s i o n w o u l d ensure timely and safe discharges from the hospital campus- es in the community," said one poll respon- d e n t . " D e c l i n i n g could increase length of stays and create unsafe conditions if access to equipment is decreased." Lack of access is, indeed, a concern— and an expensive one, says another respondent, a hospital-based provider that would also extend their contract. "Independent suppliers take days if not weeks to deliver, which greatly increases our readmission rate," said the respon- dent. "Those readmissions are a much greater cost overall to our system then the horrible reimbursement." HM e By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor A AH OMECARE ' S GOAL for a new project evaluating e-prescribing platforms isn't to provide a Good Housekeeping seal of approval, per se, but to raise the level of awareness and com- fort surrounding the technology, says Kim Brummett. "Providers can be leery, so we're trying to help drive adoption," said Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs, who is spear- heading the project for the association. "I hope we succeed. It's time for paper to go." As part of the project, Brummett and other members of AAHomecare's Regula- tory Council have been on calls with senior leadership from Stratice Healthcare, Para- chute Health, GoScripts and DMEhub to familiarize themselves with each company's platform. While similar, the four platforms are dif- ferent enough in form and function that having AAHomecare step in to "vet" them was necessary, Brummett says. "At the end of the day, I'm sure we'll be comfortable with all the platforms," she said. "But having us go through this pro- AAH pushes e-prescribing cess and making sure all the platforms meet compliance requirements, for example, will help. Then it's up to the supplier to choose which one to adopt." The project also aims to address several challenges to adopting e-prescribing plat- forms, like getting buy-in from prescribers and/or having prescribers that use multiple plat- forms, Brummett says. "A supplier may say, 'I choose this one,' but then find their prescribers use more than one plat- form," she said. "It can get confusing." Joining AAHomecare in pushing providers toward e-prescribing: CMS, says Wayne van Halem, president of The van Halem Group, who's involved in the project. The agency is exploring an increasing number of e-templates, most recently for RADs, PAPs and vents. "They understand that DME claims are what's clogging up the appeals sys- tem, and more than ever before they're listening to the provider community and coming up with ways to make the process easier," he said. "Technology is a big part of that." HM e 'It's time for paper to go' Kim Brummett N e WS p O ll c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 3 "We would decline the offer because with all the cuts that have been made it is a big loser." – Melody Amos, Quality Team

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