Home care here to stay

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Greg Spratt started out at a mom-and-pop provider in 1981 and eventually landed in the corporate offices of Rotech in 1997. He is currently director of clinical marketing for Oridion Capnographies, which manufactures CO2 monitors. He’s also the new homecare section chair for the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC).

HME News: What are some big issues facing providers today?

Greg Spratt: To put it in a few words: Providing more for less. Decreased reimbursement and increased requirements translate into a higher cost of doing business. I don’t think that’s changed much in 20 years. I continue to see the same flawed analogies comparing cost of equipment to reimbursement with total disregard for services. But I don’t want to sound pessimistic. I am optimistic. Home care is not going to go away.

hme: Does healthcare reform offer growth opportunities for HME?

Spratt: Currently, hospitals are incentivized to readmit patients. In the future, hospitals with lower readmission rates will be rewarded with higher payments and those with higher rates of readmissions will be penalized by reductions in payments. Effective home respiratory care is going to have to play a significant role if we are going to get these costs under control.

hme: With everything going on, do small providers stand a chance against nationals?

Spratt: Despite the predictions of some, the mom-and-pops are holding their own. They have more flexibility and creativity, and they have new business models, which I think is going to be essential going forward.