Florida: Monthly meeting offers education, camaraderie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BRADENTON, Fla. - Leave it to Joan Cross to make HME industry legislative and billing updates "fun."

The executive director of the Florida Association of Medical Equipment Services (FAMES) in September hosted her first monthly teleconference for FAMES members. The call, which ran about an hour-and-a-half, featured The VGM Group's John Gallagher, who gave a legislative update, and Allegro Medical Billing's Ward Cook, discussing the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI).

"There was a lot to talk about, and everybody asked lots of good questions," she said. "It was very organized and polite and it was a lot of fun."

The teleconferences, which are free and only open to FAMES members, are geared toward making sure providers stay informed on industry issues--something that Cross worried providers don't always have time to do.

"So many things are coming out, that you can miss the little things," she said. "We might receive something about the new supplier standards. Do we take the time to sit down and read them? Maybe no, maybe yes, but (on the call) we'll talk about them."

The calls are also a way for Florida's far-flung providers to network.

"We get to know each other and somebody can say 'this happened to me the other day, what can I do about that?'" explained Cross. "Somebody else might pipe up and say, 'that happened to me too and here's what happened.'"

During the next call, Cross hopes to tackle audits, both during the teleconference and through an all-day audit workshop.