Gayle Devin, sole-source soldier

‘I’ve sometimes spent more time working on this than running my business, but I wouldn’t have a business to run if I didn’t’
Friday, August 23, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – AAHomecare’s first “HME Hero” Gayle Devin has helped to develop a playbook for fighting sole-source contracts for incontinence supplies in a number of states.

As the CEO of ActivStyle, a provider with a national footprint, it’s serious business for Devin, but it’s also the right thing to do for patients.

Here’s what Devin, who chairs AAHomecare’s Medical Supplies Council, had to say about the pay-offs of dogged advocacy.

HME News: You’ve played a critical role in stopping sole-source contracts for incontinence supplies in Illinois and more recently in Minnesota. How did you get it done?

Gayle Devin: By working with local agencies and state associations, and engaging lobbyists and strategy groups as needed. I think when people view incontinence supplies, they don’t realize the impact that managing a patient with incontinence can have. It’s not a vent; it’s not life support. But you’re giving people their dignity back and you’re addressing the associated complications that incontinence can have, like depression, insomnia and contact dermatitis.

HME: What else helped to change the minds of state agencies and legislators?

Devin: The different elements of what we do—getting a script from a physician, sending out samples, consulting the patient—we can’t charge for those. There’s no separate code for consultative services. It’s all encompassed in that one code and that one reimbursement.

HME: How did you show that these proposals weren’t financially feasible, considering all that providers do? In Minnesota, the state was proposing that providers buy their products from one distributor and that they be paid cost-plus 20%.

Devin: We put together a financial exhibit of all our hard costs and soft costs. We have handouts that show how the proposal would limit the product formulary and how, despite our attractive shipping rates, would results in a $38 loss per patient.

HME: Still, it wasn’t an easy sell in Minnesota—it took two years to kill the proposal.

Devin: It takes a lot of work. I’ve sometimes spent more time working on this than running my business, but I wouldn’t have a business to run if I didn’t. If you want to change the reputation of our industry and if you want to ensure the survivability of your business, you need to get involved.