Take a day off? Nah


I called it. Providers have been working their tails off since days before Sandy hit, with no end in sight. 

See, I got some insight into how providers think after talking to some of you just after the massive fires in the West this summer. In fact, one of my first stories here at HME News was talking to providers after the tornado in Joplin. 

Even though there's a lot of attention paid to the business aspects of HME—how to collect copays, how to reach out to referral sources, how to find alternate funding through retail when competitive bidding takes a huge bite out of your income—in the end, you guys are all about the patients. 

Even with my previous experience, and even knowing that about you, I was still surprised today. 

I wrote up a Sandy update for the Newswire this week about CMS's decision to grant audit relief to affected providers. It was just about done, but there was a Jurisdiction A call that might have more info at 11 a.m., so I decided to listen in, just in case. 

One of the providers on the call had lost everything. All she had was her two dogs and a blow-up mattress. And yet, she's been working around the clock to serve patients, even delivering CPAPs to hospitals that needed them, and had listened in on the call to ask more questions about how she could serve her patients. 

It blew my mind. 

No matter what job you have, if your house floods and you lose everything, I'd say it's OK to take a day off—maybe even a few. But you guys don't do that. 

Even your employees… Leif wrote last week about a distribution manager who lost everything in the massive Breezy Point fire and showed up for work the next day.

I got an email this week about a Clarke Health Care Products employee named Meghann Montenaro, also from Breezy Point, and whose home was damaged by floodwaters. She helped coordinate the distribution of winter clothing, baby products, flashlights and batteries into the Breezy Point and Rockaway neighborhoods—to be handled by fire department personnel (see photo.)

I could write a book of all the amazing stories I'm hearing from and about HME providers since Sandy struck. I know there will be even more in the coming weeks. 

Great job, you guys.