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Session recap: Get payers on your side

Session recap: Get payers on your side

Kris SrinivasanATLANTA - The best way for HME providers to turn payers into allies is by focusing on the patient, says Kris Srinivasan, director of payer relations at McKesson. Here’s what Srinivasan, who hosted a session on improving payer relations at Medtrade East, has to say about achieving optimal care at reasonable costs.

HME News: What’s a major do/don’t when talking to payers?

Kris Srinivasan: A major don’t is starting the conversation with how much you pay for a medical supply and how much that payer reimburses you. The focus should be about the value you bring to the patient and, subsequently, to the stakeholders in the care continuum. Start the conversation with real examples of patients and highlight the care you provide to those patients, including times when you’ve gone above and beyond to keep that patient out of the hospital. If possible, be prepared to demonstrate the potential savings from these actions to the payer.

HME: What’s the best way to develop contact with payers?

Srinivasan: It’s really no different than any other industry. You have to network to make important connections. The most successful way to develop contact with payers is through AAHomecare and/or your state/regional association. They have a long history of engagement with payers – payers that you work with daily. My advice is to get involved in those associations (at all levels) and ask them to help you open those doors. 

HME: Who should take the reins of payer relations at an HME company

Srinivasan: I recommend dedicating an employee solely to payer relations. While I understand the importance of having employees wear many hats, the truth is that this role is too important to have an employee whose attention is divided. Instead, you want an employee focused only on getting fair reimbursement for the care you provide.


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