HQAA Blog

Background Checks

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Feb 11, 2022 @ 02:58 PM

The pandemic has changed how we look at employment in the United States in a multitude of ways. Many of us now “telecommute” to work, which opens up the opportunity to live farther from the office than ever before. Young people have new and different considerations and priorities when it comes to accepting a job. And of course, there’s the fact that it is increasingly more difficult to recruit and retain good long-term employees. Complicating these issues specifically in our industry are the pesky and sometimes misunderstood background check requirements.

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Topics: Quality, Security, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Competence, OIG

The OIG & DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Jan 19, 2022 @ 09:56 AM

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of DME owners, managers, and staff more than the Office of the Inspector General (the “OIG”). The fear is perhaps deserved by an extremely small handful of industry people. The vast majority of our industry rank and file have nothing to fear from this sometimes maligned and misunderstood government agency.

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Topics: Billing, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, CMS, Business Practices, OIG

Revisiting Retail Showrooms

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Aug 10, 2021 @ 10:34 AM

We’ve talked about retail showrooms before, but in the several years since we’ve covered the topic, retail has made a triumphant resurgence. The DME retail showroom’s amazing comeback is a product of a perfect storm of factors in the industry. Certainly, declining reimbursement and limitations to coverage for DME products and services is at least partially responsible. The fact that Baby Boomers are retiring and becoming eligible for Medicare is also a factor. Retirees today –compared to retirees of a decade or so ago—are tech savvy computer users who are comfortable shopping on line and also somewhat conditioned to paying for larger portions of their healthcare out of pocket. The bad news for local DME’s is that they are tech savvy and capable of shopping on Amazon-like platforms. The good news for local DME’s is that they are willing to pay more out of pocket for healthcare. Retail provides a “hedge” for your organization. If someone wants the traditional “deliver it and bill my insurance” DME model, you can do it. But you also have a showroom and are prepared to deal in cash.

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Customer Service

OSHA: More Than Just a Lunchroom Poster

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Jun 10, 2021 @ 03:26 PM

Many durable medical equipment company employees equate “OSHA” with those plasticized posters typically hung in a breakroom or kitchen in the organization. Training requirements by both accreditation standards and OSHA itself have gone a long way to educating employees about the various OSHA mandated requirements and led to a better understanding of OSHA. This in turn has led to better adherence to the rules and regulations and ultimately to a safer workplace.

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Topics: Employee Training, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Infection Control

Survey Process Post Covid

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Sep 11, 2020 @ 10:41 AM

As the world slowly but surely returns to normal, surveyors will take to the road once again to visit durable medical equipment organizations across the United States. For several months CMS suspended the accreditation process. On August 12, 2020, CMS gave the approval to resume surveys both onsite and virtual visits (with a follow up onsite visit), or a combination of onsite and virtual survey. With these new guidelines, CMS and the accrediting bodies are beginning to resume surveys with slightly revised procedures and protocols.

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Topics: Renewing Accreditation, Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, CMS, Surveys

Carrying the Beeper: DME Staff & On Call

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

A few years back, at 5:00am Saturday during the coldest February Northern Minnesota had seen in decades, a longtime home care patient’s oxygen concentrator failed.  The patient’s wife retrieved an E cylinder that was for back up from the guest bedroom and proceeded to try to open the gauge.  Her husband—the patient—tried as well but neither could get the tank to open.  The couple was a little panicky because the patient had been using oxygen continuously for over a year with only a few moments here and there off oxygen.  Regular delivery for portable cylinders was Monday, and they were down to two small portable cylinders with a total of about one hour of oxygen combined. 

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Delivery, Oxygen, Customer Service

DME Policy Manuals

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Nov 08, 2018 @ 10:28 AM

Many in the home medical equipment industry equate policy manuals to their accreditation inspections. And of course, these bulky tomes are certainly a large part of the accreditation and survey experience for every DME. Policy manuals serve as the road map for how work gets done within an organization, a set of rules for the organization, and the document that defines the structure, function, and philosophy of the organization. Let’s look at what a policy manual should contain and how it impacts not only accreditation, but also the overall day-to-day operation of an organization.

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Topics: Employee Training, HIPAA, Security, Personnel Files, Quality Improvement, Billing, Renewing Accreditation, Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Compliance, Patient Privacy, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Materials Management, Avoiding Deficiencies, CMS, Complaint Process, Quality Care, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Clinical Respiratory Services, Oxygen, Warehouse, Safety Officer, Competence, Customer Service, Disaster Preparedness, Emergencies, Business Practices, Marketing

Resolutions for the New Year - DME Style

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Jan 05, 2018 @ 02:32 PM

Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right” --Oprah Winfrey

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Topics: Quality, Employee Training, HIPAA, Personnel Files, Quality Improvement, Billing, Quality Standards, Patient File Requirements, Compliance, Patient Privacy, Process Improvement, Materials Management, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Safety Officer

A Stroll Through Your Warehouse: Standards Compliance in Equipment Storage Areas

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Oct 05, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

Say the word “warehouse” to many people, and you conjure up images of a dark, dusty, damp place with rows of equipment and boxes, piled to the ceiling.  A home medical equipment company’s warehouse certainly can be the source of problems, deficiencies with standards, safety hazards, and infection control issues.  But with just a little planning, some elbow grease and hard work, and a bit of ongoing monitoring, you can turn your warehouse into a clean, safe, even pleasant environment that improves operational efficiencies and helps your employees do their job well. 

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Topics: Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, Warehouse

Marketing & Accreditation: Why Does It Matter?

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

On a recent survey, a DME manager was surprised when I asked about the schedule for their marketing representative so I could set up some time to talk to her.  The organization was not being argumentative, but were truly surprised to find me interested in chatting with her about her the marketing she was doing.  “She really doesn’t have anything to do with the accreditation process and her work has no impact on accreditation at all”, they explained. 

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Topics: HQAA Accreditation, Compliance