PRO2 makes 'culture change'

Saturday, January 31, 2009

CINCINNATI--PRO2 Respiratory has no plans to curtail its focus on quality clinical care - even if it is a little more expensive.

Instead of reducing its workforce of respiratory therapists (RTs), the provider is zeroing in on efficiencies throughout its system to offset a 36-month oxygen cap and a 9.5% nationwide reimbursement cut on CPAP and other DME, says Nancy Archdeacon.

“I’m still scratching my head with all the legislative changes,” said Archdeacon, founding partner. “I don’t know of any other industry where you’d expect a clinician to do the work upfront and (not get paid at time of service).”

PRO2 has improved its paperwork flow; reduced home visits; minimized deliveries; and targeted what seems like an obvious source of money: patient co-pays.

“That’s a culture change for us,” said Archdeacon. “I don’t know why we (as an industry) haven’t been doing it all along.”

Still, patient care remains the heart of its business. RTs assess oxygen patients with an eye toward portable systems and transfilling units.

Overall, that saves the provider money, and better serves patients, says Michael Moore, chief compliance officer.

“Our approach is more lifestyle oriented,” he said. “We look at a patient’s particular needs and design a system around those needs.”

But PRO2 can’t do it all alone, says Moore.

“We’ve changed the way we talk to patients,” he said. “The patient has a responsibility for the first time in the management of their own care.”

For example, recent changes to Medicare’s CPAP policy require proof of patient compliance for payment.

“We are coaching them so they realize they have to wear the equipment in order for reimbursement to take place,” said Archdeacon.