'I know DME providers are not excited about this model'

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dr. Sam Fleishman knows that when it comes to efforts to allow physicians to provide CPAP devices, it looks like he’s trying to push HME providers out of the loop (see related story, page 1). But the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says the driving force behind a recent proposal is to improve patient outcomes. Fleishman spoke with HME News recently about why there’s room for everyone.

HME News: Where does the AASM’s proposal leave providers?

Dr. Sam Fleishman: I know it’s a controversial area. I know that DME companies are not excited about this model and I appreciate that. But, I don’t think it’s going to be one or the other. I think you’ll find that both will survive.

HME: DME providers are skeptical that doctors will want to go through all the documentation required to provide CPAP to patients.

Fleishman: The paperwork on our end to treat patients related to the DME is going up significantly. It’s a lot of extra work and we are having to add extra people to help take care of these folks. If you are already putting a lot of effort and work and doing that, if there is some revenue with that, it would be at least helpful in the things you are already doing.

HME: What about Stark laws against self-referral?

Fleishman: Certainly there are those concerns. If the idea is to reduce the cost of the care and improve outcomes then there should be a way that we can do that. If you look at the integrated model that we proposed to CMS as an innovation proposal, we showed them in that demo that if you let us provide the DME along with everything else we are doing to integrate care, we can improve outcomes and reduce costs. That should hopefully help reduce the concept that self-referral is a big problem.