Home Health Care Panel Discussion 3/1/2015
Experts in the home health care industry came together to participate in a panel discussion hosted at ECRM’s Home Health Care event in Destin, Florida. The panel was made up of a diverse group of companies including distributors, retailer and suppliers.
The Panelists Include:
- Kevin Lohmeyer Category Manager at AmerisourceBergen
- Bill Kibby Purchasing Manager at Hart Medical Equipment
- Drew Massey Clinical Services at Fruth Pharmacy
- Doug Wedekind Director HME/DME at Walgreens
- Matt McElduff Sr. Vice President, Business Development at Compass Health
- Doug Harper Group Vice President, North America at Invacare
- Scott Deis Vice President at Nova
- Matt Hobbs, National Director, Retail Sales at Owen Mumford
The Panelists were posed with the question about how competitive bidding impacts their business. According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the competitive bid statute requires that Medicare replace the current fee schedule payment methodology for selected Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) items with a competitive bid process.
This new statute puts pressure on sellers to win bids while still managing to deliver a quality product to their customers. In order to adapt to this change, organizations are constantly evaluating their product assortments to find the right item mix.
Since the competitive bid statute was put in place the number of audits a company receives increased from an average of 1 or 2 a year to 1 to 3 a week. As Bruce Brothis said “We no longer ask the question when will we be audited but how many times will we be audited.”
This drastic increase has forced organizations to become more diligent with their paperwork as well as enhance pharmacist training programs to ensure protocol is withheld. With the rules and regulations continually changing, the panelists all agreed that it is imperative that companies continue to evolve with the industry by staying up to date with the latest laws.
The next topic was technology and the role it plays in the home health care market. According to the panelists, the internet is putting the consumer in control. Patients are doing research on their own making them more knowledgeable about the product offerings that are available. This in turn is driving retailers and pharmacies to develop educational programs so that their pharmacists can better serve their patients. Additionally, suppliers are tasked with creating on online environment that makes educational materials available to the patient.
According to Drew Massey of Fruth Pharmacy, social media is playing a large role in their marketing efforts. Fruth Pharmacy, a small format pharmacy, has a very connected patient community. This close network of patients makes social media the perfect platform to reach their customers.
Overall, the panel discussion hit on the topics that directly impact the home health care marketplace and the ways that the industry leaders are reacting to such changes. With new laws and regulations looming in the future, the home health care industry will face significant changes within the years ahead.