HQAA Blog

Are You Ready to Re-Open?

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 @ 10:55 AM

Because of the nature of our work, the durable medical equipment industry did not close our doors, shelter in place, or shut down for the Covid-19 Pandemic. We did, however, change the way we do business in many ways. Some of these changes will undoubtedly get back to normal as our nation and the world climb out of the pandemic. And of course, many of these changes will become the “new normal” and are destined to remain changed forever. At the time this blog article is being written, HQAA is carefully monitoring the industry as well as law and regulation and CMS policy to determine how accreditation surveys will be performed in both the short and long term. More on that in the weeks to come.

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Topics: Employee Training, HIPAA, HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Materials Management, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Oxygen, Warehouse, Customer Service, Business Practices, Marketing, Infection Control

The ‘New Normal’ in DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Jun 02, 2020 @ 02:38 PM

A phrase we’re hearing a lot through this crisis and pandemic is “new normal”.  As in, there’s a new normal out there that involves social distancing, wearing masks, working from home, restaurants and non-essential businesses closed or working limited hours, and on and on and on.  Every person has had some aspect of their life changed in sometimes small, sometimes profound ways.  Of course, this applies to medical equipment providers as much as anyone else. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Materials Management, Physicians, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Customer Service, Marketing, Infection Control

New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Jan 10, 2020 @ 10:57 AM

In all aspects of a person’s life, the first of the year affords an opportunity to “start fresh,” begin again, and resolve to improve.  Every year, I humbly suggest all business owners and managers take a look at their organizations, take stock in what they’ve accomplished, consider opportunities for improvement, and resolve to make the next year better than the last one.

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Topics: Personnel Files, Quality Improvement, Showroom, Retail, Warehouse, Business Practices, Marketing

Five ‘Good Business’ Tips for the Holiday Season

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Dec 10, 2019 @ 09:22 AM

The DME industry has been hit with significant challenges that leave most owners and managers, well, not in a partying mood.  Those of us in the industry for decades remember the days of big Christmas bonuses and lavish holiday parties.  Profit margins aren’t what they used to be.  As the year winds down and the holiday season approaches, it’s important to reflect on the positive and what we DO have rather than what we don’t. 

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Topics: Customer Service, Business Practices, Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, and Websites: Your DME On Line

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 08:42 AM

I had the opportunity to work with a “twenty-something” person for a few days last month.  They were bright and ambitious and we bonded quickly. During the course of our work together, we went to restaurants and stores several times each day for several days.  I noticed something very interesting that I’ve seen before with other people, but not necessarily paid attention to: Every place we went, my colleague and new friend pulled their smart phone out and looked up not only directions to the place we were going, but also reviews.  Several times, they found restaurants without websites and quickly dismissed them as places to go.  When I asked about this, the person said something to the effect that “if a business doesn’t have a website, they aren’t credible to me.”

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Topics: Retail, Marketing

Put Your Best Foot Forward: The Art of the Effective Set Up Packet

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 10:51 AM

Think about this: In many/most cases, a patient’s first experience with -- and impression of -- your organization happens when they are set up on equipment and admitted to service.  Thus, when your organization delivers equipment or supplies for the first time, or when your respiratory therapist sets up your respiratory device, or when a pedorthist “fits” someone for diabetic shoes, they are forming an impression that will be with them for a long time.  It’s certainly possible they will talk to their friends and family about that experience. 

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Topics: Patient File Requirements, Customer Service, Business Practices, Marketing

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

Are You ‘Any Willing Provider’?

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

In July 2018, CMS made a rather important announcement: that effective January 1, 2019, after the current bid schedule expires December 31st, 2018, any Medicare provider can supply durable medical equipment and supplies to Medicare patients/recipients.  This will likely continue until the next round of bidding takes place, which will be at least a calendar year later.  This rule revision, known in the industry as the “Any Willing Provider” provision, is something the industry has talked about since competitive bidding began. “Wouldn’t it be fair,” one provider I spoke with posited, “if they {CMS} settled on a bid amount and opened it up to any credentialed, accredited, licensed DME to provide equipment and services?”

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Topics: CMS, Retail, Marketing

Re-inventing Your DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ 10:33 AM

People have thrown around the words “re-invent,” “re-imagine,” and “re-purpose” in regards to their career, their life’s goals, their outlook, and their businesses quite a bit in the last decade.  It is considered chic to reinvent ourselves—in both our personal lives and our careers and businesses.  And it’s becoming more and more useful and important to do that in our DME businesses today.  Reimbursement changes (and by “changes”, we almost always mean “cuts”), as well as technological advances, coupled with the changing styles of consumerism, how people shop, and the fact that customers are willing to pay for an increasing amount of their healthcare all make the environment ripe and ready for change!  

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Topics: Customer Service, Business Practices, Marketing