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Allen Hunt on the shifting role of the HME provider

Allen Hunt on the shifting role of the HME provider Speeding up access to care saves money, he says

Allen Hunt is president of Hart Medical Equipment, a growing company with shared ownerships by several health systems throughout Michigan and Northwest Ohio. That gives him a bird’s-eye view into what’s happening within those health systems and where the HME provider fits in, he says. 

“We have an opportunity when the time is right to have a seat at the table and talk about how DME can be part of the solution,” said Hunt. “If you’re talking about saving $2 on a walker, you’re having the wrong discussion. What we need to talk about is timing. When does the patient get that walker?” 

Hunt was a recent guest on the HME News in 10 podcast to discuss how the role of the provider is shifting as more care moves to the home. 

Lower cost solution 

The more progressive health systems talk about pre-acute and post-acute care and what that will look like in an alternate care setting, which is increasingly in the home, where the provider already has a solid footing, says Hunt. 

“We won’t necessarily be a standalone, we will be an extension of other people who are helping coordinate care,” he said. “In the right circumstances, under clinical guidance from others, we’ll be the ones in the home providing the equipment, providing the setup.”

The ‘iron triangle’ 

Access, quality and cost comprise the so-called “iron triangle” in health care, says Hunt, who points to technology as an important piece in balancing all three for providers. 

“We’re employing more technology, overall, to lower our costs and to reach more patients without having to spend as much on labor,” he said. “We give them better levels of service and reduce our costs. HMEs that look for those win-win-win scenarios are going to find that their investment will pay off.” 


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