Beyond bidding and the face-to-face rule


Since Theresa has so diligently updated everyone on 1.) the industry’s latest efforts to kill competitive bidding (check out the HME Newswire on Monday for the latest, including a denied temporary restraining order) and 2.) the breaking news that CMS has delayed implementation of the face-to-face requirement, I’m going to write about something that has nothing to do with either of these hugely important topics.

But that doesn’t mean that what I’m about to write about is any less important.

Au contraire.

Spurred by Michael Reinemer (Remember him? He’s no longer with AAHomecare, but he is very much keeping tabs on the industry), a handful of stakeholders exchanged emails a few months back about the importance of providers being able to illustrate how HME is cost effective, patient preferred and clinically sound.

While the industry has made huge strides—HUGE—in communicating the problems with competitive bidding and the negative impact of the program on beneficiaries, there’s plenty of room for improvement in this area.

This is becoming a bit of a soapbox for me, but by way of example, only 34 of our readers responded to a recent HME NewsPoll asking whether they track 30-day hospital readmission rates for patients with chronic conditions. Do they also talk with said hospitals about how they can be a cost effective, patient preferred and clinically sound option for these patients—we didn’t even go there.

Providers need to start asking themselves these questions repeatedly: How can I focus on outcomes, and how do I contribute value in the healthcare system? Then they need to communicate their answers to anyone who will listen.

In an effort to the ball rolling, we’re putting together a special report for the October issue (the big one that coincides with Medtrade) on just this topic.

If you’re an industry stakeholder who also feels passionate about this or a provider who’s making strides in this area, shoot me an email:

I’d love to talk.