Michael Blakey: Embrace templates, but do it right

Friday, September 25, 2015

When it comes to using templates confusion reigns. So HME News reached out to Michael Blakey to clear a few things up. Blakey, president of DMEevalumate, says he’s excited that the conversation around templates has evolved to the point where providers are asking what they are and if they should be embracing them.

HME News: So, can HME providers use templates or not?

Michael Blakey: They are certainly allowed. With all the noise surrounding competitive bidding, the face-to-face requirement and the PMD demo, what got lost was the bone that CMS was throwing the industry. In 2013, they clarified the use of templates and when they were permitted, and frankly encouraged them.

HME: What makes for a good template?

Blakey: Templates that coax a practitioner to address all the questions in a complete manner are ones that will provide the full and complete disclosure that CMS is looking for. Something that just has a statement on it, or has you circle yes or no, true or false, and doesn’t have a lot of space to write, is very much frowned upon by CMS.

HME: Physicians and other medical professionals are already using EMR/EHRs. Is the HME industry lagging behind?

Blakey: It’s not that HMEs are being left behind. It’s that EMR/EHRs are not being responsive to HME because doctors aren’t asking for HME to be included. The HME niche is so small and CMS changes the requirements for HME so often, that if they did an update for say, PMD, by the time the EMR did a nationwide update to its HME program, CMS has probably changed its policy.