Summit snapshots on interoperability, M&A and outcomes


We'll have two stories in our HME Newswire on Monday about different sessions at this week's HME News Business Summit.

(Don't tell anyone, but here are the links to those stories now: and

But there was so much good stuff from the Summit (stuff—real technical term, I know), I've also strung together some quotables from other sessions here.

Available green space
Interoperability has its roots in paving the way for acute-care providers to “talk” more easily with ambulatory care providers, but leaders have realized that’s not good enough, said Jeff Gartland, who sits on the operating committee of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working to create universal access to health data nationwide.

“One of the profound findings that we’ve found since we’ve deployed (the network to thousands of sites) is that the diversity of the ecosystem that is important goes beyond ambulatory,” said Gartland, who participated in a panel titled “Interoperability: Why it’s not pie in the sky.” “It’s really critical, if we’re to follow the patient where they are, that there is a diversity of care settings (involved).”

That opens the door for HME providers to become a bigger part of the process, said Nick Knowlton, an operating committee member and chairman of the membership committee at the Alliance. That process is far enough long to have momentum but not too far along to represent a missed opportunity.

“What the healthcare ecosystem needs is your leadership,” he said. “There’s a lot that still can be invented out there—there’s still a lot of green space.”

Irresistible demographics

M&A analysts believe private equity activity could perk up now that it’s possible that CMS has wreaked all the havoc it’s going to wreak with its competitive bidding program. This year, the agency applied bid pricing to non-bid areas.

“Once reimbursement is stabilized and it’s no longer a variable risk, the demographics are irresistible,” said Don Davis, president of Duckridge Advisors, who participated on a panel titled “M&A in a challenging market: What and where are the opportunities?”

Influencer of outcomes

When HME provider Dewey Roof thinks about what he prioritizes in his business, he thinks about what hospitals and health systems prioritize in theirs. That’s gone a long way toward making them see his company as “an influencer of outcomes” vs. a “widget provider.”

“All your data needs to be aligned to that goal and demonstrate that value to your referral source,” said Roof, president/CEO of LifeH2H, who participated on a panel titled “Connected health: Let’s get in the weeds.” “Whatever is important to them has to be important to you.”