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

Passing Time During A Pandemic

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, May 06, 2020 @ 08:38 AM

Here we are several months into the pandemic.  It appears perhaps the worst is behind us and the world is slowly starting to re-open.  For many, the novelty of sheltering in place has worn off and folks are ready to get back to work.  In the durable medical equipment industry, work has continued as our companies have been considered “essential services” and for the most part, stayed open and done business during and despite Covid-19. 

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Topics: Patient File Requirements, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Work, Business Practices, 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

Oxygen Fire Safety in DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, May 10, 2019 @ 10:30 AM

Last month, we looked at fire safety in the DME industry.  Safe oxygen storage and fire prevention/safety were mentioned, but not in the detail a subject so important deserves and requires.  Handling, providing, storing, processing, and manufacturing oxygen comes with its own unique set of potential hazards and therefore its own set of guidelines and safety measures.  

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Topics: Delivery, Oxygen, Warehouse

Fire Safety in DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 10:49 AM

I’ve known two DME owners whose businesses were destroyed by fire.   In one case, a consulting customer of mine owned a DME in a Upstate New York strip plaza.  Two doors down was a laundromat and fire broke out and actually traveled through the walls.  The structure remained standing, but their inventory and the entire interior of their storefront were destroyed by smoke and water, despite the best efforts of the fire department.  The second case was a business in the south, located in a rented warehouse in a rather remote location.  The fire was arson, and investigators eventually prosecuted the building’s owner for arson and insurance fraud.  In both cases, the businesses had adequate insurance, and the owners rebuilt.  However, in both cases, the owners bemoaned their losses, suffered terrible inconvenience, and recounted stories of the irreparable harm the fires did to their operations. 

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Topics: Warehouse, Safety Officer, Disaster Preparedness, Emergencies

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

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