The HME industry is similar to most all industries. There are winners – I know many success stories, as you all do, in which entrepreneurs have reached a pinnacle. Also, there are some who just earn their daily bread and those who fall by the wayside.
Every industry is affected by legislations, taxes and many restrictions. HME is unique and somewhat different. Unlike a department store that sells a product and the purchaser pays cash or uses a credit card and the transaction is completed, our industry’s ways of getting paid are different. Yes, providers do get paid for their services – some with cash but most from third-party sources.
Almost all healthcare services and products require an ID, a social security number, a Medicare card or other insurance proof. I looked in my wallet and counted five different cards. This is typical for almost every senior citizen.
Most of healthcare in the United States is paid by and under the supervision of the government. It is a form of socialized medicine. The system is so poorly controlled and as a consequence fraud and abuse are milking out mega dollars. This is the number one problem which must be resolved.
Reducing reimbursements and competitive bidding for lower prices are not an answer. The thieves will survive no matter how much legislation is passed. Who else faces this dilemma? All HME providers, pharmacists, and just about every healthcare provider do.
Federal and state regulations are constantly being updated and changed. To stay up to date and aware, it is imperative that you stay involved in national and state associations. Every HME provider must not only be a member, but they should be on the phone calling every other provider and telling them why the importance of working together is how you will be able to stay in business. There is far too much at a stake for you. Do not allow the business you have poured hours of sweat and dollars to be squeezed out.
Who else can do this for you? No one else! Therefore, need I say any more?