CQRC turns up the heat

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Friday, October 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Council for Quality Respiratory Care, a coalition of home oxygen providers and manufacturers, has always taken an active role with CMS and on Capitol Hill, says Chairman Dan Starck. In recent months, however, the CQRC has seen its profile rise, thanks in part to several op-eds calling on Congress to support legislation that would delay the phase-in of reimbursement cuts for DME.

Starck, who is also the CEO of Apria Healthcare, spoke with HME News recently about the CQRC’s top priorities, the benefits of a unified front, and why it’s important to have a noble mission.

It’s time to raise the noise level

When you consider the growing concerns nationally with the overall cost of health care, it’s important to remember that home care needs to be part of the overall solution, says Starck.

“Pricing has dropped significantly over the past few years and yet there is always a patient that needs service and needs to get home,” he said. “We are trying to make sure that home care has a future and it has a future in a way that allows the industry to still deliver quality products and services, so those folks can get home.”

Banding together

To drive home that message, HME industry’s key associations are, fortunately, working together better than ever.

“When you look around the room, whether it is AAHomecare, The VGM Group or the CQRC, there’s tremendous knowledge,” he said. “I think there’s a much more coordinated effort that’s reflective of the constituencies of each group and making sure the leadership across all three is on the same page and really delivering the same message on Capitol Hill and to CMS.”

Making the best of it

The latest tool in the industry’s arsenal is a report from The Moran Company, released in September, which highlights deficiencies with the competitive bidding program.

“The bid program has flaws, but it’s here to stay,” said Starck. “Our goal is to use this report to help improve the process so that, ultimately, the price that is set though the process is reflective of what is really needed to provide services to people in the home.”

Getting it right

Starck, who has several decades in the industry under his belt, says his company’s motto, “Improving the quality of life for patients at home,” says it all.

“I think everybody’s goal is to do that,” he said. “It helps to have a noble mission and I think the industry has a noble mission.”