Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Time to Take Action

This past week Mrs. Prial and I saw a wonderful performance of the musical “The Man from LaMancha.” As I write this blog I feel like I am fighting windmills.

Miguel de Cervantes is quoted as follows: “Good actions enable us, and we are the sons of our own deeds.” Don Quixote fought to achieve the Impossible Dream. So will you!

HME providers are the last stop and smallest group involved in the provision of health care supplies equipment via Medicare. The Medicare Modernization Act passed by Congress in 2004 is supposed to stop the outflow of dollars. Rather than fully addressing the problem of fraud and abuse they opted to have HME providers bid to become a provider.

HME providers are not the problem. The problem is a major difficulty, which they failed to consider, how to keep the thieves out. When miscreants are caught selling drugs, gambling or prostitution they face long terms in jail when convicted. But when a hospital chain was caught stealing many billions of dollars, they were fined (was $7½ billion sufficient?).

HME providers have the task of getting all of your customers involved. Yes, I know that I have said this often, but it is worth repeating. You must get your clientele involved before they are forced to go elsewhere. There is far too much at stake not to get involved. Send a letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Call or e-mail your Senators and Representatives. Ask your staff to do the same. Please suggest to all your customers to get on the bandwagon before they are driven away to a “winner” with the lowest bid. Contact your state HME association and AAHomecare or NAIMES for help.

We are fighting the windmills, same as Don Quixote did, but if we all work together and not wait for someone else to do it, we will be successful. For ideas and other thoughts please do not hesitate call me (877) 553-5127 and I would be delighted be of any help. As a team, HME providers can win this battle!

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