Friedman enters brave new world

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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Timing is everything
NEW ORLEANS - As a former hospital executive, Jeff Friedman has learned that part of his job is to “work around whatever reimbursement changes come along.”
Jeff Friedman opened his New Orleans HME, Total Health Solutions, Dec. 8, the same day President Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug Act.Jeff Friedman opened his New Orleans HME, Total Health Solutions, Dec. 8, the same day President Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug Act.

That’s a good thing because Friedman opened his New Orleans HME, Total Health Solutions, Dec. 8, the same day President Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug Act.

Unlike some veteran HMEs who have spent the past few weeks puzzling over how to slice and dice their businesses to accommodate the coming reimbursement reductions, Friedman’s not going to eliminate any products or services.

“The good thing is that we do a lot of cash items,” he said. “The bad part is that they are not big ticket items so we’ll need to do all the rental equipment.”

That said, Friedman expects Total Health to generate about 25% of its business from Medicare, 10% from Medicaid, 20-25% from cash and the rest from private insurers and worker’s compensation.

“I always knew [reimbursement] was going to be an issue to contend with,” Friedman said. “We’ll push the product lines that offer us the least amount of insurance involvement.”

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