When the pulmonologist speaks, you should listen

 - 
06/08/2010

We are co-sponsoring a Webinar with Emerge Sales next Week (June 16 and 18) that I'm looking forward to.

The Webinar's called "The Pulmonologist Speaks," and that pretty much says it all. I talked to about a dozen respiratory providers, who gave me a bunch of questions they wanted pulmonologists to answer. Once we finalized the list of questions, I handed it over to Emerge Sales, which specializes in gathering market intelligence. Emerge acquired contact information for hundreds of pulmonologists all over the country and began calling them (or the appropriate office staff).

We'll present the data during next week's Webinar, which we'll run four times (we're trying to accommodate everyone's busy schedule). I can't wait to find out what percentage of pulmonologists understand the impact of Medicare's 36-month cap on oxygen patients; how many track hospital readmissions; and what motivates them to switch to a new HME provider.

If you want more insight into how to work better with this key referral source, this Webinar will be a big help.

If you'd like to register for "The Pulmonologist Speak," click here.

Here's the list of questions Emerge has been asking pulmonologists.

Mike Moran

Clinical questions
1.    What are your top three diagnoses for patients? (Rank in order of most common)

2.    What are your primary goals for patients you refer to home medical equipment providers?
a.    Keep them at home for as long as possible with a treatment of respiratory medications and supplemental oxygen
b.    Provide supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehab and other therapies/services that allow the patient to be as active as possible
c.    See patient as needed and treat exacerbations as they occur
d.    Other (specify)

3.    Is there an oxygen delivery modality you insist upon for your patients, or are there multiple modalities that are effective in your experience?

4.    Do you feel that liquid and gaseous oxygen systems are equally effective in treating COPD?
a.    Yes
b.    No. Liquid oxygen is more effective
c.    No. Gaseous oxygen is more effective

5.    When you prescribe oxygen for a chronic condition, do you monitor the patients ongoing need for oxygen?
a.    Yes
b.    No

6.     Do you keep track of hospital readmissions for your home oxygen patients?
a.    Yes
b.    No

7.    Do you refer sleep patients to HME providers or do you let sleep labs make the referral?
a.    I make the referral
b.    I let the sleep make the referral

Patient care questions - Updates on patient progress
8.    Do you like to receive updates from HME providers on how your patients are doing?
a.    Yes
b.    No

9.    If yes, do you want updates on all of your patients or just those that are high-risk or having problems?
a.    All
b.    Just high-risk

10.    How often would you like to receive updates on high risk patients?
a.    Monthly?
b.    Quarterly?
c.    Every six months?
d.    Other (specify)

11.    How often would you like to receive updates on stable patients?
a.    Monthly
b.    Quarterly
c.    Every six months
d.    Other (specify)

12.    What areas of HME would you like more education on?
a.    Reimbursement
b.    New respiratory products
c.    Medical policy changes
d.    Other

Patient Insurance-related questions
13.    Is it okay for your patients to accept some financial responsibility for products or services not covered by their insurance?
a.    Yes
b.    No

14.    Do you understand the impact on a beneficiary once Medicares 36-month cap on oxygen reimbursement ends?
a.    Yes
b.    No

15.    What do you consider a fair price for an HME provider to charge an uninsured patient for supplemental oxygen?
a.    $0 month
b.    $25 month
c.    $50 month
d.    100 month
e.    $150 or more
f.    Other

HME Provider-related questions
16.    What would motivate you to switch to a different HME provider?
a.    Lengthy referral process
b.    Not responsive to patient complaints/needs/concerns
c.    Inability to provide certain modalities or brands
d.    Request too much documentation after referral is given
e.    Other (specify)

17.    Rank the following in order of importance when it comes to HMEs:
a.    Technology that enhances patient ambulation
b.    Disease state management programs designed to reduce hospital readmissions
c.    Responds quickly when a patient calls
d.    Brand of equipment
e.    Other (specify)

18.    What would make the referral process for home medical equipment easier and faster?
a.    Ability to have a "form" or have them accept our community discharge forms
b.    Electronic referral info (encrypted ) so we don't have staff spending a lot of time on phone or at a fax machine
c.    Providers (and prescriptions) would require the same information every time
d.    Other (specify)

19.    In order of priority, what are the three most important criteria you evaluate to select a new HME provider?
a.    Reliability/response time (reputation)
b.    Ability to provide a range of products and services
c.    Ability to bill insurances used by our patients
d.    Location
e.    Other (specify)

20.    How many HME providers do you currently refer patients to?
a.    1-2
b.    3-5
c.    More than 5

21.    How important is the sales representative in selecting an HME provider?
a.    Not important
b.    Important
c.    Very important

22.    How often would you like to see a sales rep?
a.    Weekly
b.    1-3 times a week
c.    Twice a month
d.    Monthly
e.    Quarterly