Time to go big or go home

Friday, June 21, 2013

Industry stakeholders like to talk about how home medical equipment consumes such a small piece of the Medicare budget. I think the going rate these days is less than 2%. It’s crumbs, really.

I see why stakeholders stress this. Even though it’s a small spend, it feels like HME has borne the brunt of the government’s harried cost-saving initiatives, whether it’s national competitive bidding or audit activities. It’s unprecedented.

But instead of focusing on the way in which HME is small, what if providers focused on how HME can be big?

Big is a word that kept coming to me as I was putting together the educational program for this year’s HME News Business Summit, Sept. 8-10 in St. Louis.

Big picture.

Big data.

Big presence.

Big partnerships.

Many of the sessions at this year’s Summit are about providers broadening their view and taking a hard look at how they can be part of these big movements around them. That could mean driving business decisions with analytics, merging with other providers to create scale and efficiency, or partnering with health systems to fuel growth and improve coordinated care.

Shouldn’t we want HME to be a bigger piece of the Medicare budget? If this were the case, wouldn’t it mean that all of the industry’s hard work to convince CMS and lawmakers that HME is more cost effective and patient preferred was paying off?

Let’s go big or go home.

Meet me in St. Louis.