How Emerging Trends, Current Technology and Patient Education Are Shaping the Future
The home medical industry continues to buzz about the relationship between sleep labs, sleep centers and HME providers. It’s as close to a celebrity fistfight as we usually get in this industry. But is the rhetoric of “threat” and “competition” merely media hype? It really depends on whom you talk to.
Child-friendly nebulizer designs have become commonplace, but that is not the only exciting innovation under way in the field of pediatric asthma. The demand for pediatric asthma services from HMEs continues to grow, and with it comes increasing opportunities to diversify your business. There are a variety of products and services to consider.
Jeffrey Baird, Esq., is a board-certified health care law attorney with Brown & Fortunato in Amarillo, Texas. In his experience, Baird hasn’t seen too many sleep labs selling or leasing CPAPs, or many owned by the same owner. Where he does see growth is in the number of labs trying to enter into relationships with independently owned HMEs: “That results in their competitors, other HMEs, getting cut out of the loop.”
By Robert McCoy, BS, RRT, FAARC
By Ron F. Richard, Senior VP of Strategic Marketing Initiatives, ResMed Corp.; Rebecca Olson, RRT, Clinical and Sales Manager, Oxygen One; and Jill Spellman, RRT, RCP, President, Oxygen One
Providers in California, New York and Florida may be facing the challenges of dealing with a new type of Medicare audit. Legislation passed by Congress last year guarantees them company. The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, known informally as the “physician fix” legislation, provides an expansion of the Medicare recovery audit contractor (RAC) program. RACs are private entities that contract with the Medicare program to supplement the audits performed by the traditional Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). Note: RAC audits are in addition to, not in place of, the audits performed by the MACs or the Program Safeguard Contractors (PSCs).
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule, mandating transfer of title of all oxygen equipment to the beneficiary at the end of 36 months (or possibly 13 months if Congress approves the president’s budget), should cause providers to pause and rethink their current process for collecting the patient financial portion. Comments in the final rule, in fact, state that patient costs contributed to the development of the equations used to calculate the formulas for payment methodology. CMS has clearly established that the provider has a reasonable expectation to be paid.