- Steve Degenaro
What Can DME Consult Do for Your Organization?
DME CONSULT LLC was started many years ago to assist durable home medical equipment companies (“DME” organizations) with accreditation and licensure. The partners were clinicians –respiratory therapists—who had worked in the DME industry for many years in roles that included clinical program management, sales and marketing, quality/performance improvement, and accreditation. All the partners also have the unique experience of working as inspector/surveyors for both national accrediting and state licensure agencies.
This unique background positioned us well back in the day –and continues to position us now and going forward. It gave us insights into the industry and how it was policed. It gave us insights into what Medicare, state Medicaid agencies, and commercial insurance payers expect from the organizations they pay. Finally, it gave us the unique perspective of having “been there/done that” when it comes to how DME organizations operate. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly over the years. We’ve completed projects with customers in 40 states, ranging from large national companies to small Mom & Pop places. DME companies, pharmacies, home health organizations, hospitals providing community and in-home care, and even physician offices have consulted with us and found success using our services.
It can be hard to explain to lay people what exactly we do and even DME companies sometimes are surprised to find the breadth of our service offerings. As we start our Blog, which we hope will be a resource of great information, we thought the initial article should list out some of the many services we offer. Our “can do” list includes:
Accreditation Prep—Mock Surveys
Medicare (and many state Medicaid agencies as well) require accreditation. Whether you are a new company that has never been through the process or an established company going through an accreditation process yet again, there is a tremendous benefit to having an outsider come in and look at your operation with fresh eyes. We conduct an inspection very similar to what your actual survey by the accrediting agency will be like. Not only is this helpful to identify (and fix) problems BEFORE the accrediting body comes out, it is also useful to get staff ready for questions and help them practice for the actual inspection. Better for us to find your issues and identify them and help you resolve them than to wait for the actual inspection. Think of this like a study group to help you prepare for a big test.
Accreditation Prep—Policy & Procedure Manuals
Of course, one of the most important aspects of accreditation is having appropriate, well written, and accurate policies & procedures. These manuals can take months or even years to prepare. We have policy & procedure manuals we have written and revised over the years. These manuals, which include forms to utilize, have been “tested” over the years by all the CMS approved deemed status accreditation organizations. They are constantly updated to reflect current law & regulation. No need to re-invent the wheel, just use one of ours!
Accreditation Prep—Manage the Entire Process
Some organizations like to pick parts of the accreditation prep process “ala carte”, while others want to use a turnkey process that handles it all. DME CONSULT can manage the entire process including filing out the application, teaching your staff, writing your policy & procedure manual, mock survey to ensure compliance, and even any response/follow up with the accrediting body after the actual inspection. We work as an arm of your organization, saving your staff’s valuable time for regular operations.
Application to Medicare
Anyone who has filled one of these applications out knows how time consuming and cumbersome the process can be. We’ve completed Medicare applications for over a hundred organizations through the years; with a 100% success rate!
Application to State Licensing Bodies
We’ve also helped countless organizations apply for state licensure. Additionally, we’re experts at understanding the licensure requirements in all fifty states. Not only can we help an organization in their own home state, we’ve also helped national organizations and mail order houses analyze their licensure needs in ALL states. Imagine having to research the requirements for all fifty states, then apply to the ones where licensure is required. We’ve done the leg work and maintain a database of applicable licensure rules for every state.
Compliance Officer Consulting
All organizations that bill Medicare must have a compliance officer, whether they are national, publicly traded corporations, or a small two-person operation with the owner on site. Charged with maintaining compliance, this person needs to stay abreast of all law & regulation, educate other staff members on compliance, and track processes to ensure that the company is following the rules. We can train and guide your compliance officer and provide valuable insights and ongoing support. We are expert in this area and can make sure your organization maintains compliance.
Manage Your Quality Improvement Program
Another requirement for Medicare is establishing and maintaining a quality or performance improvement program. Not only is this a requirement, but it’s a good idea, that can help your organization understand itself, grow, and succeed. Our program includes all policies, forms, and templates for meeting minutes. We can give the program to you and let you run with it; or in some cases, we can actually manage the program on an ongoing basis.
Set Up a Retail Showroom
Retail DME, which fell from favor in the 1990’s, has made a tremendous comeback. People are now much more willing to pay for their healthcare services, supplies, and equipment “out of pocket”. High deductible insurances and the lack of coverage for many items, along with hassles and complications of providing ongoing need for equipment and services has led to a resurgence in DME companies offering their services directly to patient customers for self-pay, cash payments. DME CONSULT has helped dozens of companies set up beautiful retail showrooms that can become a major adjunct to your organization’s overall scope of services.
DME CONSULT has served as expert witnesses for the industry in cases involving DME operations. Our partners and consultants include managers and clinicians in the DME industry with unique knowledge of law & regulation, compliance with accreditation standards, FDA compliance, and clinical expertise regarding equipment and service programs such as invasive ventilation and custom rehabilitation equipment.
Setting Up a Specialty Program
DME CONSULT has helped organizations expand their scope of service to include new (and hopefully profitable) clinical programs and equipment/service offerings including Noninvasive & Invasive Ventilation Programs, Custom Rehab/Custom Wheelchair Programs, and other specialty product and service programs. Our credentialed partners and consultants include RRT (respiratory therapists), OT (occupational therapists), PT (physical therapists), and ATP (assistive technology professionals) who are ready to help your organization expand into these areas. We can even help you recruit, hire, and train professional staff in these specialty areas.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can do anything to help you grow and succeed. We’d be happy to talk about any of our services anytime.
Contact us today!