The more things change...


It’s been a fun—and busy—three months, but with the return of our editor, Liz Beaulieu, I must hand off my crown.

I won’t lie, I like being in charge. Except when I wish someone else was.

In fact, it’s been a busy three months for the entire industry, with what must, at times, feel like Sisyphean legislation to push, including that long-awaited Senate bill. At press time in mid-December, there’s still a chance to get it passed. As I said to our new(ish) associate editor, Tracy Orzel, it’s one of the biggest stories of the year but with the shortest shelf life, at least from an editorial perspective. Let’s hope by the time you read this in the New Year that the bill passed.

If it hasn’t, well, the bidding window for the Round 2 recompete is scheduled to open in January. You know the drill.

The other big story in 2014—right from day one—was audits. You may remember the memo, from the Chief ALJ no less, raising concerns about the appeals backlog that lit the proverbial fire. Since then, to no one’s surprise, that backlog has ballooned and is closing in on 1 million. That’s outrageous! What ever happened to due process? 

With the majority of appeals being overturned at this level, it’s clear that the system is broken. Claims should not be denied as medically unnecessary when, for instance, the doctor didn’t wear blue socks on that particular Tuesday, as one exasperated provider mentioned during a phone call in November. 

But lest you think I’m all doom and gloom, we hear some wonderful stories from a great number of providers out there. They participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, raised awareness and funds for diabetes, breast cancer and a host of other causes, and helped out with getting our veterans to Washington D.C. 

We are already looking ahead to 2015, starting immediately with the February issue, planning for two Medtrade shows, the HME Business Summit, and numerous webcasts for the upcoming year. Starting with this issue we have four new Smart Talk columns (LinkedIn, Marketing, Aging in Place and Mergers and Acquisitions) that I hope everyone can learn from. I mean really, just what is LinkedIn for?

In the short term, my boss is returning in mere days. Time to clear out her office and welcome her back!