DALLAS – American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) officers convened on day two of Medtrade in Dallas for the latest AAHomecare Update, answering written questions submitted via social media and fielding queries from attendees. The new format provided a chance to hear different perspectives and a packed house showed up eager to hear opinions.
On the future of competitive bidding, Bill Guidetti of Apria, who serves as chairman of AAHomecare, pointed out that price discovery for competitive bidding happened in the last round, and pricing actually went up after three rounds.
“Now we are reaching a tipping point in the industry,” Guidetti said. “We must keep lobbying to remind Congress just how important we are in the value chain. Where do I think competitive bidding is going to go? It’s likely there will be another round. Are there going to be carve outs for some of the respiratory products? I think that’s likely, but we’ll have to see what happens. But I do think it’s likely there is going to be another round.”
Increased reliance on technology emerged as a persistent theme among all three panelists, primarily as a remedy to increase efficiencies and to better deal with value-based payment models.
On the topic of e-prescribing, Guidetti commented: “You are going to improve your operating costs, increase cash collections, and lower error rates, meaning fewer audits. You’ll have better patient compliance and satisfaction. There are costs up-front, no question, and you have to factor that in. But when you look across your team and look at the ability to build capacity, you can service more patients faster and have more accuracy. I think the DSOs will drop dramatically for you. I think we all should embrace e-prescribing. If we do, it’s a game changer for our industry.”
On the emergence of the value-based payment model, Josh Marx, vice chair of AAHomecare, and CEO of Medical Service Company remarked: “The DME industry absolutely needs to be a part of the value-based payment model. The simplest way to think about it is to spend one dollar to save two. As an industry we do that every day by managing chronic conditions, lowering readmissions, and eliminating hospital stays.
“I encourage us all to invest in technology to collect and harness data, thinking about e-Prescribe and tools that we can use to aggregate,” Marx continued. “And then we need to speak with our payers and other stakeholders and explain how they are spending a dollar to save two dollars.”
On the proper mindset to maintain a strong workforce, Ryan Bullock of Aeroflow, incoming vice chair of AAHomecare, added: “At Aeroflow, probably about 80% of our workforce is remote…One of the things that we learned early on March 16, 2020 when we sent everyone home is that we’ve got to trust our people. That’s been the mantra—to lead with trust.”