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We can always do better

April 21, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

While HME News obviously has a narrow focus on HME, editor Liz and I do our best to tie larger national issues to the industry when we can. Some issues, like a global pandemic that affects respiratory function, are a no-brainer. Others are trickier. Case in point: diversity, equity and inclusion. Nearly a year ago, a country struggling with the ongoing pandemic found itself horrified by the senseless deaths of Black people. The murder of George Floyd, caught on camera, sent protestors to the streets...

diversity, Home Medical Equipment, inclusion


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Heather Trumm

Guest Blog

Growing your business with wound care

April 16, 2021Heather Trumm

Editor’s note: The following guest commentary appears in the new VGM Q2 Playbook, “Growing Your Business in Today’s Environment.” VGM members can download the playbook in full here. If you are interested in becoming a member, go here. You know me, you’ve heard me say it before—wound care is important for all DMEPOS providers because every patient has skin, and skin health affects each of us. The skin is our largest organ. Not only does it protect us against...

Heather Trumm, VGM, wound care


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On the Editor's Desk

What's your personality type?

April 16, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

It seems all any of us in the HME industry can talk about these days is in-person events (We are, after all, at the time of this writing, still waiting for the DMEPOS final rule; otherwise, that might be the dominant talking point). Will in-person events happen? Will people go to them? Certainly by July, the time of the industry’s first planned in-person event – Medtrade West, July 12-14 at the Phoenix Convention Center – all those who want to be vaccinated will be vaccinated,...

HME NewsPoll, Medtrade West, trade shows


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Crushing it? For the diabetes herd, technology is path forward

April 13, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

I got my first COVID vaccination in early April and immediately slacked my co-workers to share an image of my “Crushing COVD-19” sticker. Along with the obligatory congratulatory emojis, came the obligatory jokes about government chips and tracking. As a person with diabetes, I’m used to tracking. I track my numbers, my insulin doses and my carbs. In turn, my Freestyle Libre sensor tracks me and sends data wirelessly to the Diabetes Center from my iPhone (no more arriving at...

Ascensia Diabetes Care, COVID-19 vaccine, diabetes, Glooko


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Better messaging

On the Editor's Desk

Better messaging

March 15, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The cartoons that appear on these pages come easier some months than others. This wasn’t one of those months. Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty and I were nearly pulling out our hair after about two days of tossing around ideas, none of them sticking to our satisfaction. (Among those that fell on the cutting room floor: My idea to have an HME provider in a home setting up a patient on, say, an oxygen concentrator and other health care providers trying to get into the home any which...

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On the Editor's Desk

Just a start

February 3, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

In the past few months:  A global pandemic has severely stressed the supply of oxygen concentrators, revealing cracks in an HME industry that has been slowly chipped away at by Medicare’s competitive bidding program for 10 years.  CMS has decided not to move forward with the majority of Round 2021 of that program, because the agency didn’t “achieve expected savings,” and therefore – wait for it – the current reduced rates continue to apply.  The...

Advocacy, competitive bidding, coronavirus outbreak, lobbying, oxygen concentrators, Round 2021


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E-SP

They say crime doesn't pay. In this case, it appears to have bought a yacht.

January 25, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

I received a press release last week from the DOJ about the latest news in Medicare fraud involving, what else, braces! Juan Camilo Perez Buitrago and two of his employees submitted more than $109 million in false claims for arm, back, knee and shoulder braces. (nothing to see here). But it’s the details that really made me say, WTF? You see, as part of his scheme, Buitrago had the employees, Jessica Jones and Elizabeth Putulin, list his wife, mother and yacht captain as directors for...

braces, medicare fraud, orthotics


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On the Editor's Desk

Prial's prediction

December 15, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Shelly Prial will be remembered for a number of things, including being the “show ambassador” for Medtrade. I’ll remember him for the bow ties – and his passion for telehealth. When he was still with us, I fielded calls from Prial, sometimes weekly, about how teleahealth was the wave of the future and how HME providers needed to carve out a niche for themselves in this new market. This is from a Q&A we did with Prial way back in 2006: HME News: Where can HME providers...

remote patient monitoring, Shelly Prial, telehealth


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E-SP

The new normal? Wear a mask and carry on

November 16, 2020Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

TV shows have begun having their fall premieres and as I settled in recently to watch a few (Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy, Rise Up), I found myself transported more than once back to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when so much was unknown and scary, and yet, seemed so temporary. When I bailed on my office March 18 with the speed of one abandoning a city falling to invading troops, I honestly thought I'd be back in a week or 10 days. I'm sure most of us did. I think we all know how that...

coronavirus outbreak, Home Medical Equipment


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On the Editor's Desk

Count the bids

November 6, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The big news story right now is the election and the herculean efforts by various states to count the unprecedented number of absentee and mail-in ballots, a task that stretched out well beyond the Nov. 3 vote. The chants - count the votes by some, and stop the count by others - got me to thinking about CMS's recent decision to drop 13 product categories from Round 2021 of competitive bidding. When the news broke, there was a first wave of relief - the industry had been lobbying CMS to pause Round...

competitive bidding


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