2020 vision: Leaders will thrive

Monday, December 22, 2014

ATLANTA – The number of HME providers has shrunk and those left standing will have to find their niche in the changing healthcare market, said VGM’s Mark Higley.

There are 95,000 current PTANs and of those, 11,300 belong to HME providers, he said.

“The numbers are thinning but it’s not Armageddon,” said Higley, vice president of regulatory affairs, during a session Wednesday morning at Medtrade.

The number will continue to shrink, despite the exploding demand for HME services. Although a 70% increase in those ages 65 and over is projected by 2020, declining reimbursement and other forces will create a 50% decline in the total number of HMEs, said Alan Morris, director of business development for Healthcall.

“The average HME provider in 2020 will be three to four times larger than they are now,” he said. “The  leading HMEs will thrive.”

Providers should develop a solid plan to market themselves, says Dave Lyman, director of alternate care for VGM.

That includes developing a standard of care they can talk about; producing objective data; and calling on the proper individuals based on their goals.

“It can be difficult to get to the C level offices,” he said. “I have found that talking to medical directors is good. They understand outcomes. Then it can be easier to talk to the executives.”

Above all, go in with confidence, Morris said.

“Don’t say, ‘We think we can help you,’” he said. “Say, ‘This is how we can help.’”