Insurance remains largest revenue generator, according to poll

Friday, December 13, 2013

YARMOUTH, Maine – Despite reimbursement cuts and heavy audits by insurers, the revenue mix of HME providers isn’t as diversified as you’d expect, according to the results of a recent HME NewsPoll. 

The largest percentage of respondents to the poll (40%) say they continue to rely on insurance—including Medicare, Medicaid, private-pay, etc.—for 76% to 100% of their revenues.

“We’ve had a slight increase in retail, but mostly, we’ve just stayed the same for 15 years,” said one respondent.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents to the poll report they earn 25% or less of their revenue from retail. Ninety-two percent report they earn 25% or less of their revenue from e-commerce.

For some respondents, diversification efforts go beyond retail and e-commerce. Several reported an increase in revenues from markets like home accessibility and payers like hospice facilities.

“It was 75/25, with Medicare and other insurers dominating,” one respondent wrote. “Now, it’s 75/25, with hospice dominating.”

There’s no doubt, however, that some respondents are passionate about the potential of retail and e-commerce.

“The No. 1 biggest change for me is making an effective online store, hands down,” said one respondent. “A big part of that is the development of my website to allow consumers to research all my products and services efficiently and effectively. Most of my consumers do their research on my website before they ever make an attempt to call or come into the store.”

For some respondents, retail and e-commerce have totally transformed their businesses.

“Retail was 1% of revenues 10 years ago and now it over 20%,” said Med Fadel of BetaMed in Bryan, Texas.

One thing’s for sure, as one respondent said: “Our company will always be a work in progress.”

“Since our traditional funding sources have decided to not adequately fund our industry, it’s our task to find our own way in the market again,” said Brent Bradshaw of Austin’s Durable Medical Equipment, Inc., which has been in business for 44 years.


No Surprise!!  Healthcare will always and forever be predominantly a third party expenditure. 

The real question was has their dependence on Medicare reimbursement increased or decreased??

Then a follow-up questions:

Have the Provider's polled Accounts Receivable Outstanding with Medicare Increased or Decreased at year end 2013 as a result of the CB cuts and/or RAC/ZPIC Audits?

Have the Provider'spolled Accounts Receivable Outstanding with Patient Responsibility Increased or Decreased at year end 2013 due to increased patient deductibles and co-insurance resposibilities in third party policies?

These are the questions need answered to map the direction of the industry.  Keeping in mind NOT too far down the road are going to be private insurances mirroring Medicare reimbursement determinations in some way. 

Be it a contractual bidding process or a direct slash in reimbursement!!