Maine: Providers to develop documentation template

Group seeks to streamline process, tackle low payments
Monday, December 1, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine – HME providers here are developing a medical documentation template for mobility equipment to help resolve issues with MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

“It’s been a real box of chocolates with them,” said Jim Greatorex, president of Portland-based Black Bear Medical. “In many cases, they’re asking, for example, for people’s annual physical notes. It borders on the absurd at points.”

A work group has formed to produce an online documentation collection tool to help streamline the process. 

Providers have looked to similar templates used in other states, specifically New York, said Kathy Adams, director of Maine CITE, a state agency promoting assistive technology for those in need.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel from scratch,” said Adams, who has served as a liaison between the work group and the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. “We’re trying to use the resources we have.”

The work group anticipates having a template and recommendations to the state by year’s end.

Another issue the group hopes to tackle: the state’s poor payment rates.

“The state pays clinical people a pittance of what it actually takes to evaluate patients and document their needs,” said Greatorex. “They can’t ask for $500 worth of paperwork and pay $50.”

While there’s no way to predict how the state will react to provider recommendations for a template and adjusted payments, Greatorex and Adams agree it’s on providers to get the ball rolling.

“What we find is the best course of action is for us to do all the work and present it to them, instead of putting the ball in their court to come up with a solution,” said Greatorex. “That’s when nothing gets done.” HME