The voices of change

Friday, September 26, 2014

HME resistance

“What has always baffled me is why HME is so resistant to change. What industry hasn’t changed in the past 20 years? For us to sit by and not expect change is just ignorance. Instead of saying, ‘The sky is falling,’ the truth is that the entire healthcare continuum needs a leaner model, and if we’re part of the old system we will fall away. We should focus on being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.” 

—Dewey Roof, president, LifeHME

Finding opportunity

“HME providers can no longer assume that most payers are going to be willing to have open panel contracting. The strategy involves building relationships with key insurance payers in your market; identifying ancillary networks, which allow you to access a wider breadth of contracts and pursue those networks; and building limited, but meaningful, information reporting and tools that help the payer see the effectiveness and professionalism of your healthcare services to patients.”

—Mike Mallaro, CFO, The VGM Group 

“One of my main themes is patient-centric care. So many providers are so wrapped up in dealing with the government that no one talks about our most important product—patient care. If we don’t recognize that we are in the business of selling care and filling our companies with people who are committed to it, then we’ve missed the boat.”

—Dan Afrasiabi, president, Geneva Woods

HME perception

“The HME industry as a whole has been disrespected because we haven’t policed ourselves. HME needs to reposition itself and concentrate on relationship sales and marketing to medical professionals along with payers and the general public.”

—Gregory LoPresti, CEO, Upstate HomeCare

“It’s a process. Perception will change. Legislators and CMS took significant issue with the number of HME providers, and used competitive bidding to drive consolidation. Because the demand for HME products and services are growing, the result will be larger, more mature companies with the economies of scale to invest in technology. That technology, whether it is new HME products, improved billing software solutions, or game-changing clinical process management tools, will begin to change the perception very soon.”

—Alan Morris, director of business development, Health Call

“Up until recently, the HME industry was the ‘wild, wild west.’ CMS made the decision to get its arms around the industry and it has done so with competitive bidding, post-payment audits, prepayment reviews and accreditation. Hopefully, as the HME industry transforms itself, CMS’s attitude toward the industry will be less adversarial.”

—Jeffrey Baird, chairman, 

Health Care Group, Brown & Fortunato