Speaking and working with peers is an excellent way to compare how each approach this gyrating healthcare market. As an industry DME/HME providers face a difficult problem. For many years reimbursements, whether from Medicare, Medicaid or other sources, was always a steady cash flow. Unfortunately, it has now become a trickle rather than a flow.
To submit a bid, which would provide even less that the current reimbursement rates, makes no sense. The government is not cognizant that the problem is not DME/HME. They have made it so convenient for “non-professionals” (a euphemism for thieves) to rent a storefront or an office to become a provider. They do not have to prove they have any skills, a license, a degree or a certificate showing education (PT, OT, RN, RPh, etc.).
They collect reimbursements until the payers catch them. Several of these clandestine operations have stayed busy submitting invoices for several years before they were closed. How many went to jail? How many quick buck artists walked away? Did any ever return the stolen funds?
The approach our industry has to take, in unison, is to demonstrate how DME/HME providers earn their money. How much pro-bono is provided? We have to identify how the well-trained staff work with their customers and family caregivers. DME/HME is NOT sufficiently reimbursed to provide supplies, equipment and services to be able stay solvent much longer!
Can a meeting of our industry be arranged to just see how to correct these difficult problems? The state and national associations do a superb job. The buying groups and publications work to address the failures in the system. BUT IF THEY ALL WOULD TEAM TOGETHER, how much more effective will they be? WOW !!!
I would like to hear ideas from you in the front trenches, your ideas how to approach the changing markets, Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) your thoughts and I will share them with all.