Reporter's notebook

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Despite continued reimbursement pressures and increased scrutiny for fraud and abuse, most providers still manage to put the customer first.

Wayne Dolloff, general manager of Brockton, Mass.-based Collins Surgical Supply, recently turned away a referral for compression stockings. The customer, a woman with sores on her legs, needed treatment, not hosiery, he said.

“I could have sold them to her, but I referred her to a wound care (specialist) instead,” he said. “Otherwise, I’ve done her a disservice.”

Dolloff’s good deed should pay off in the long run, though.

“The customer said to me, ‘You have no sale today, but you have a customer for life,’” he said.

A crowded field?

It looks like physicians are eyeing home infusion therapy as a potential money-maker.

Provider Deb Holman, director of clinical services for Flint, Mich.-based Genesys Health, said she’s seen physicians positioning themselves as medical directors with infusion providers or starting up infusion clinics of their own in their offices.

“As budgets are getting cut, they are looking for ways to generate revenue,” she said.

Holman wonders if that creates an uneven playing field.

“Nobody questions if they are accredited,” said Holman. “They have provider numbers with these insurance companies but there’s no oversight.”