Will someone please help me understand this?
I had a conversation this morning that left me shaking my head.
Here's the deal. A company that introduced a cash product to the HME market last year recently received a HCPCS code for that product. Why did they get a HCPCS code for the product? Because a whole bunch of HME providers asked them to get a HCPCS code for the product.
Here's what a company official told me: "We kept hearing from the DMEs that they had to have a code to bill it. We're selling it around the world and people around the world are paying cash because they don't have reimbursement codes. Here in America, everyone wanted a HCPCS code so we went for it."
I may be missing something here, so if I am, please let me know. But why would a provider rather bill Medicare for a product than have customers pay cash?
Aren't providers supposed to be increasing their cash business and decreasing their reliance on Medicare? If that is the case, it seems really dumb to take a cash product--a product that retails for $24.99--and stick it in the Medicare fee schedule.
Like I said, I may be wrong, but on the surface this seems to be one of those little tiny stories that demonstrates a very big point: Way too many providers don't have a clue about retail/cash sales.
If competitive bidding and other reimbursement cuts don't push providers to get serious about cash sales, I don't know what will. Do you?