Show offers shelter from legislative storm

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

LAS VEGAS - A confluence of legislative and regulatory pressures has created a climate for the HME industry that is being described as "the perfect storm." But despite the dark skies, Medtrade Spring organizers are offering providers refuge in the form of educational programs.
Along with a full roster of seminars held during the show, the Medtrade Spring educational advisory committee has also scheduled two separate pre-show symposiums on March 21: the Continuum of Care Conference and a reimbursement program called "The Brutal Facts...What's Real in Reimbursement for 2006." AAHomecare is a co-sponsor of both conferences. In all, Medtrade Spring attendees will have a menu of 73 sessions to choose from over three days.
"The information presented at the conference covers a wide array of topics and is vitally important to remaining successful in today's fast-changing environment," said Kim Kianka Roberti, director of education and meetings for AAHomecare.
Likewise, the reimbursement program will offer a comprehensive look at the latest policies governing the HME billing segment.
"Reimbursement is in a state of constant change," said Kim Brummett, vice president of reimbursement for Advanced Homecare in Greensboro, N.C., and a member of the Medtrade Spring educational advisory committee. "It isn't just collecting the money, it's about what product lines you choose, what type of order the intake department may need and how to organize it all to get paid. It's a business process."
In designing the programs for Medtrade Spring, the educational advisory committee mapped out a series of sessions that specifically addresses the overwhelming sense of urgency most providers feel right now, said committee member Jeff Baird.
"The committee's consensus is that at this critical point in time, the HME industry is facing a number of challenges whereas in the past, providers may only have faced one or two," said Baird, chairman of Amarillo, Texas-based Brown & Fortunato's health care group. "It's a perfect storm."
Among the areas getting heavy emphasis: competitive bidding strategies; Medicare claims appeals rules and reimbursement changes; referral source marketing techniques; handling CMS, OIG and DMERC audits; FDA regulatory changes and competitive bidding. There will also be a panel discussion featuring DMERC officials from all regions.