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

Quality Improvement

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Jul 07, 2017 @ 01:50 PM

Quality improvement (QI) is often cited by owners and managers as one of the most difficult processes to understand.  Programs are established and resources spent in an effort to maintain compliance in this area.  Organizations report to surveyors that the process of maintaining their QI program can be cumbersome, time consuming, and useless. 

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Topics: Quality Improvement, Process Improvement

4 Easy Steps to Ensure Your Warehouse Meets HME Accreditation Standards

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Feb 04, 2014 @ 03:55 PM


Say the word “warehouse” and many people 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 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: Quality Improvement, HME Accreditation Requirements, Avoiding Deficiencies, Warehouse

DME Accreditation: How to Improve Quality & Performance Documentation

Posted by Jim Moyer on Wed, May 01, 2013 @ 07:27 AM

When it comes to DME accreditation, surveyors receive multiple inquiries on an ongoing basis regarding how to monitor quality continuously and improve the performance of their organization.

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Topics: Quality Improvement, Quality Standards, HME Accreditation Requirements, Process Improvement

Who is Anti-Quality? 4 Ways to Improve Your HME Business

Posted by Mary Nicholas on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 08:12 AM

Who is Anti-Quality?

I would dare say that in a room of 100 people not one would raise their hand in response to that question.  We all want a “quality of life”.  As consumers we all want quality products; quality in the foods we eat, in the goods we purchase, in the cars we drive. We may not consciously think, “I want to buy a can of quality vegetables”, but we sure do all want to believe that the vegetables are of a certain quality with a certain taste and processed with a high level of sanitation and safety.  We all seek quality if not once but numerous times a day even if it isn’t a conscious thought.

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Topics: Quality, Quality Improvement, Process Improvement