HQAA Blog

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.

A well-crafted policy manual should contain not only policies, but also procedures. Think of a “policy” as a guiding principle, used to steer an organization in some direction. A policy should also define or describe a course of action that is to be taken. “Procedure” is the steps to be followed to accomplish whatever the policy described. The steps are spelled out so that the organization’s staff can accomplish a task in a consistent manner. The policy is the what and the procedure is the how to.

Policies and procedures may be contained within the same document or within two separate documents. They can be hard copy, old-school paper in a binder or electronic files stored on your organization’s hard drive. The key to the success of your policy manual is that it is accessible by all staff and well understood and followed. Since the manual is considered a set of rules, the staff must be aware of the rules and where the rule book is stored, so they can use the manual on an on-going basis to refer back to when questions arise.

DME policy manuals are sometimes written by the staff and management of an organization. Other times, home medical equipment organizations will purchase a template, which uses boilerplate policies and procedures. Both can be used effectively. If you write your own, include the staff that actually has to live with the policy and utilize the procedure as you craft the document. If you use a template, be sure to customize and personalize the policies and procedures so that it accurately defines the principle and the steps to be followed in the procedures. Change the template’s verbiage to match your actual practices, not the other way around.

Written policies and procedures that are required by law and regulation, payer requirements, or accreditation standards include:

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

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

Coordination of Care

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 @ 01:39 PM

Towards the end of the Provision of Services (PS) standards, almost to the end of the section, is the very simple accreditation standard PS 9: The Coordination of Care.  The standard, in very simple, straightforward language, reads:

The organization documents the coordination of care between all those involved in the delivery of services or equipment/devices to the client. The organization documents communication with the client and between providers in a standardized manner within the client medical record.

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements, Quality Care, Patient File Requirements

Protecting Patient Privacy: HIPAA & Beyond

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 04:55 PM

 

 

Consumers have come to expect confidentiality and privacy in all business transactions today, whether on line or in retail establishments.  Healthcare is no exception and patient/customers are now protected by HIPAA (the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).  Consumers who have received any healthcare service in a hospital, doctor’s office, medical lab, or pharmacy have been exposed to some education about HIPAA.  Medical equipment companies are no different and have some unique issues to plan and prepare for to comply with this complex regulation and the even more fundamental patient right to privacy and confidentiality. 

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Topics: Employee Training, HIPAA, Security, HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Compliance, Patient Privacy

Most Common Accreditation Deficiencies in Patient Files

Posted by Jim Moyer on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

In reviewing over 1,000 patient files in the past six years, here is a list of some of the most common patient file deficiencies I have found.

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Avoiding Deficiencies