Seminars address concerns

Friday, August 24, 2012

If dilemmas were nickels, the HME industry wouldn’t have any money worries. Between competitive bidding, fading Medicare reimbursement, regulatory hoops and an onslaught of audits, the industry is awash in challenges.

Medtrade 2012 conference programmers have developed a seminar series dedicated to helping them address and overcome these situations. 

“We have some great sessions in each track, offering plenty of guidance on how to transition more into retail, and we have expanded both our pre-conference and conference sessions on audits to help suppliers understand the challenges and how to respond,” said Mary Ellen Conway, president of Capital Healthcare Group and Medtrade Educational Advisory Board (EAB) member.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Conway will lead a session in the new Non-Medicare/Medicaid Markets track called “Thinking Outside the Box,” which will review who the “new” payers are and how providers can work with them to serve Medicare beneficiaries.

Audits are an area of attendee concern for good reason, said Kim Brummett, vice president of contracting and reimbursement for Advanced Home Care and Medtrade EAB member.

“We are all in this one,” she said. “I do not know any providers who are not facing this every day.”

There are several workshops that will offer instruction on what to do when faced with an audit, how to respond and how to proceed. 

Providers are often in the dark about what is expected of them because “our auditors don’t always tell us the options,” Brummett said.

Despite the difficulties presented by Medicare, there are plenty of commercial opportunities for providers in retail and conference organizers are optimistic about the HME industry’s fortunes going forward.

The potential to find new business is inherent, said Bob Fary, vice president of sales for Inogen and EAB member.

“The attendees are creative folks and there is always a new approach,” he said. “Our goal is to provide them with what they need to execute their creative ideas.”