A new take on old nightmares


We’re putting the finishing touches on the June issue this week (June!), and as I was proofing pages, a few things that I read really resonated with me.

Neither is earth-shattering, but both are worth highlighting here, in case you don’t read the issue cover to cover (I mean, I hope you read the issue cover to cover, but I’m a realist).

The first came from Michael Blakey of DMEevalumate. We know all too well the predicament that providers are in when it comes to documentation (maybe nightmare is a better word for it). Amidst it all, Blakey challenges providers to put themselves in the shoes of doctors for a minute:

“You go to college for four years, attend med school for four more years then add three to seven more years of fellowships, residencies and specialty training. After 10-plus years of education, you are asked to detail patient information by a DME provider, who has little or no scientific background, so that they can tell you if your prescription is correct or not.”

Well, when you put it that way…this is a party neither providers not doctors want to attend.

Blakey advises providers to take the following tack:

“Letting physicians know that you understand their plight can go a long way: Explain that you are not trying to do their job, you are simply trying to obtain the medical justification for DME in the correct narrative format.”

Blakey says until CMS holds physicians directly responsible for incomplete paperwork, providers will have to continue playing the uncomfortable role of messenger.

It’d be nice, as Blakey intimates, if CMS were the messenger, but in the absence of that, providers should get comfortable with the phrase, “Don’t kill the messenger.”

The second came from Jim Hollingshead of ResMed. We know all too well the predicament that providers are in when it comes to reimbursement (this may require a worse word than nightmare). But Hollingshead says providers aren’t doing themselves any favors.

“We’ve done extensive research and found that HME communication about resupply has a big impact on a patient’s behavior, and that resupply enrollment is most successful when conducted at the initial set-up. Two-thirds of patients we surveyed who infrequently changed their supplies weren’t give an option to join a resupply program by their HME, but more than half of them would like to have that choice.”

If you’re a sleep provider and giving patients the option to join a resupply program isn’t part of your intake process…well, I don’t know what to tell you.

See these comments on pages 10 and 22, respectively, of the June issue.

And, as always, there’s more where this came from.