Forum gives industry something to talk about

Thursday, April 30, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio- When Definitive Homecare Solutions (DHS) developed an online forum for its software customers, the company realized just how eager providers were for a place to talk shop.

Answering the call, DHS recently developed HME Talk, an e-mail-based discussion board that allows HME professionals to ask questions, exchange information and “share ideas beyond the four walls of their own businesses.”

“Rather than turning daily billing tasks into research projects, we’ve seen members ask questions (about) billing Medicare as a secondary payer and receive several responses in two hours,” said Stuart Crane, co-owner of Columbus, Ohio-based DHS and HME Talk creator.

Subscribers to the free service can immediately begin posting questions and responses via e-mail. Since March, more than 200 members have joined the site.  Crane expects more than 1,000 members to sign on by the end of the year.

Member Linda Payne has used the discussion board to exchange information about CMNs. Even when she’s not participating in discussions, she scans the board regularly.

“Whether it directly involves you or not, you get to be part of the communication,” said Payne, owner and president of Weirton, W. Va.-based Reimbursement Concepts. “You’re always learning.”

HME Talk is co-sponsored by Access 180, co-producers, with HME News, of the HME Expo and Conference.

“Trade shows and events are a great way to network in a face-to-face format,” said Kevin Bird, vice president of sales for Access 180. “But in the months between the events, there is no easy way to connect with peers.”

Chris Rice feels the same way and, in 2006, he created, a forum and resource center.

“There really was no other community at that time,” said Rice, director of marketing for Diamond Respiratory Care in Riverside, Calif.

Now, receives roughly 60,000 hits per month, Rice said.