Region D DMERC sneers at snail mail

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Region D DMERC has expanded its efforts to give providers more timely access to its quarterly DMERC Dialogue and Supplier Manual by providing it via e-mail.

In August, Cigna Medicare began beta testing the technology with roughly 2,000 providers. Cigna let other providers sign up for the e-mail program at Medtrade. Those in the beta test receive the DMERC Dialogue and Supplier Manual two to three weeks before subscribers to the printed publications.

That’s a big advantage, said Wade Hendrickson, president of Hendrickson Health in Rock Rapids, Iowa.

“If I can get that information sooner, I’m saving money through reviews and bad claims,” said Hendrickson, who was in the beta test.

Receiving documents electronically also makes it easier to share information with co-workers. Rather than copy the material, in part or in whole, Hendrickson now simply e-mails the pertinent section to various employees,

“They can look at those sections and act a lot faster,” he said.

That’s technology at its best, making work easier for providers and the DMERC, said Region D Medical Director Robert Hoover.

“I told suppliers (recently) at a meeting that I don’t know how any business nowadays could do their business efficiently without Internet access,” Hoover said. “Not just DMERC and CMS Web sites, but the advantages of electronic billing, B2B transactions with manufacturers and the wealth of information that is available that can educate staff members on equipment and disease states.”

Each quarter, Cigna prints and mails out 25,606 DMERC Dialogues and Supplier Manuals at a cost of about $60,000 a quarter. HME