Providers seek long-term solutions

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas - A recent road trip found Kelly Riley driving along the Florida coastline, visiting picturesque northeast towns and flying to California as she visited respiratory providers.
One thing was common: providers are committed to staying in business, she said.
In December, the new director of The MED Group's National Respiratory Network visited about 20% of the network's 100 members during a monthlong tour that took her to several states in an effort to understand provider concerns.
"They are looking for efficiencies and ways to grow their business," said Riley. "They want answers to how the 36-month cap is going to work and what we need to do to be ready for it."
With the 36-month oxygen cap in effect and Medicare looking for ways to further reduce costs, the HME industry needs to pull together and present itself as a viable alternative to more costly health care, said Riley.
"We're going to have to keep hammering away at it, but we've got to collect some hard data," said Riley. "Those of us in the field know the value of having a therapist go to the home and do assessments. Yet, Medicare doesn't realize that."
And, she added, to survive providers must stay informed. "You've got to have partnerships with the people dispersing information."