Thursday, November 21, 2013

What You Don’t Know Could Help You Survive!

Now is the time to write the check for your AAHomecare membership renewal. Why? Because there’s a fresh attitude in Washington at the refocused and reenergized AAHomecare, and that’s because of the new president and CEO, Tom Ryan. You could say we have a new hired gun, and this one is also a veteran provider. For the first time ever, the national DME association is led by a peer.

AAHomecare is working hard on the lobbying and grassroots advocacy efforts that you see regularly reported in Wednesday in Washington, as well as other alerts and updates. But there’s so much more that goes into the process of defending your interests before Congress and at regulatory agencies that isn’t readily apparent from what you see in your in-box.

The people at AAHomecare have developed solid relationships with influential congressional staff and regulators. So, while the conversation on any given issue can be contentious sometimes, and doesn’t always produce the hoped-for result, the Association is seen as an honest broker, a ready resource, and a well-informed advocate by these important audiences.

Much like your patients only see a small sliver of what actually goes into the entire process of providing (and getting paid for) their equipment and services, AAHomecare members only see a fraction of what the Association does for you on a daily basis. As the old cliché goes, “if we told you everything that’s going on, we would have to shoot you,” so you’ll have to take it on faith that these behind-the-scenes efforts could be what turns the tide and changes DME’s future for the better.

Results don’t come free; they’re backed up by the engagement of AAHomecare members large and small—and by their dues. AAHomecare can’t do this alone. Now is the time to step up and give Tom and his team the tools they need to fight for us in Washington.

If you’re currently an AAHomecare member, you should have already received your renewal packet. Write the check (or get out your credit card) and send it in. If you are not a member, then now is the time to join the unified voice for the DME industry, AAHomecare. Find more information on membership here, or contact Cheryl Bass at or 571-312-6999 to support the team that is protecting your business every day.

Wayne Stanfield
former executive director, National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers
former vice president of provider relations, American Association for Homecare
current executive director, Home Care Alliance of Virginia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Month in the Life of AAHomecare

For more than 110 years, the New York Times has proclaimed that their paper carries “All the news that’s fit to print.”

While a major daily newspaper in a major American city certainly does contain a lot of news, if you’re looking for information focused on homecare, there are better sources.

For instance, AAHomecare members have the latest news delivered directly to their inboxes every Wednesday. And for stories that are too hot to wait, special alerts go out immediately. We even publish periodical newsletters that focus on issues related to homecare in general (DME Matters) and mobility in particular (Mobility Matters).

The Association also uses social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to keep people informed and have nearly real-time conversations with the homecare community. These sites help us to connect our members with a stream of relevant articles from news outlets across the country in addition to the articles we produce in-house.

Running a business can keep a person busy from sun up to sun down and beyond. But even with all that there is to do in any given 24-hour period, stepping back and looking outside of the daily routine is the key to maintaining a healthy business. How else will you know what’s coming at you from CMS and their alphabet soup of contractors?

If you’re not an AAHomecare member, or if you haven’t been reading your Wednesday in Washington emails, here’s just some of what you missed in October alone:
  • Guidance on Round 1 Recompete contracts
  • Advice on overpayments and surety bonds
  • Updated oxygen supplier requirements and licensure review tools from the National Supplier Clearinghouse 
  • Summary of the CERT errors report
  • Seminar on patient billing and collections
  • Substantial savings on AAHomecare’s new customizable Focus on Compliance Workbook 
  • Opportunity to participate in a survey on power mobility repairs that will be shared with CMS
  • New scoring guidelines for hypopnea from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 
  • Introduction of a new Medicare claim review contractor 
  • New Medicare overpayment/underpayment interest rate
  • Update on 2014 Medicare fee-for-service regulations for end-stage renal disease
  • Profile of a HME provider running for state office in Georgia.
  • Initial guidance on documentation requirements for abandoned oxygen patients
  • Findings from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General on the appeals process
To get the full benefit of our news operations, join AAHomecare. But if you’re not quite ready to take that step, be a part of the conversation online—friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to us on YouTube.

Don’t go another month missing out on vital information that affects the day-to-day running of your business.