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On the Editor's Desk


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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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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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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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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The T word

October 12, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

It wasn't intentional, but nearly every session at the virtual HME News Business Summit in September stressed the importance of providers leveraging technology to not only improve care but also make their businesses more efficient and profitable. Sure, technology creeps up at the Summit every year and it's often the focus of a session or two, but never has it so dominated our entire event. There were sessions at the Summit that I knew would focus on technology, like the keynote by Dr. Jacob Warren...

e-prescribing, HME News Business Summit, remote monitoring, telehealth


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Chip, chip, chip

September 18, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Earlier this month, Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty and I were trying to piece together the latest developments in reimbursement relief and we were both getting pretty frustrated. AAHomecare announced recently that the industry's champions in the House of Representatives had introduced H.R. 8158, a bill that would eliminate the budget neutrality requirement for home oxygen therapy. The association says the House Energy and Commerce Committee requested that the provision be peeled away from the other...

Advocacy, associations, bid relief, budget neutrality requirement, lobbying


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Chaos meets opportunity at the Summit

August 17, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

There has arguably never been a more chaotic time in the HME industry. The industry already had Round 2021 of national competitive bidding on the docket for this year, in terms of CMS announcing single payment amounts this summer and contract suppliers this fall. But it's been the external pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic that have turned even our own little sector of health care upside down. The two together have made the industry spin. Will CMS pause the bid program? Even if it does pause the...

HME News Business Summit, thought leadership


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What a first half of the year it's been

July 13, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

It being July (how did that happen—very quickly and very slowly at the same time), I logged into Google Analytics to find the most read stories for the first half of the year. Not surprisingly, all but one of the five most read stories are related to the coronavirus pandemic (see list with links below). Let's start with that one story that's not related to the pandemic: “'Wiser' CMS executes new order” (No. 2). It was a big deal when CMS decided to replace four types of orders with...

coronavirus outbreak, most read stories


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'See' you in September

June 22, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

We made the decision to transition the HME News Business Summit in September to a virtual event pretty early on during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the uncertainty that faces us in the fall, we knew that if we didn't have a face-to-face event, we wanted to give ourselves enough time to plan a virtual event that wasn't just an afterthought. With the gracious approval of our sponsors (thank you Brightree, Fischer & Paykel, Allegiance Group, TIMS Software, Sunset Healthcare Solutions, Prochant...

conference, HME News Business Summit


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COVID-19 and HME M&A

May 14, 2020Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I caught up with Brad Smith, managing director and partner at Vertess, recently and he said the mergers and acquisition market for HME has been “a wild rollercoaster ride” amid the coronavirus pandemic. First, investors and buyers charged ahead, then they paused and then they stopped, he says. But by the end of April, Smith had a handful of deals scheduled to close in May. Investors and buyers were charging ahead again, with the pandemic as “the new normal.” “They like...

coronavirus outbreak, M&A, The Braff Group, Vertess


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