Gorski hangs out a shingle
When Walt Gorski cleaned out his office at AAHomecare in March, he found himself looking at several years’ worth of documents that proved some industry issues have been around a long time. Gorski plans to keep working on many of those issues through The Gorski Healthcare Group. He spoke with HME News recently about how far the industry has come—and where it needs to go next.
HME News: What legacy have you left through your six years at AAHomecare?
Walt Gorski: What I hope is to have changed the tone with policymakers and raised the credibility of AAHomecare with CMS, with Congress, and with the Government Accountability Office. When I started, we would have to call them. By the time I left, they were calling us. We were working cooperatively to try to solve various types of problems.
HME: How can the HME industry take its efforts to the next level?
Gorski: We have to move from the anecdotal stage to the evidence stage. We don’t really have specific studies showing the value of home care. It makes intuitive sense that if you keep patients out of the hospital, it’s more cost effective. But because of competing priorities and resources, we’ve just started to scratch the surface in that area.
HME: Do you feel that the industry needs to clarify its message on competitive bidding? Some days, it’s about jobs, other days it’s all about patient access.
Gorski: (AAHomecare Chairman) Joel Marx summarized it nicely: What we do is for the patient and everything after that sort of falls into place. The jobs argument is really a patient issue, as well. If you have fewer people to do the same level of work, you are going to negatively impact the patients. They are all part of the same string and they need to be woven together.
HME: How will your experience at AAHomecare lend itself to your work as a consultant?
Gorski: All the things I have learned, I can bring to individual companies and manufacturers. As technology advances, manufacturers are going to innovate new products and they are going to need someone that knows how to navigate the process. Suppliers are going to need people who have a strong understanding of HME and the process by which we are regulated by the government.