The United States is a vast and wonderous place. From our perch in Maine, high up on the eastern seaboard, we here at HME News get to talk to people all across the country, including—when we can get those pesky time zones aligned—Alaska and Hawaii (here’s looking at you, Paul Gammie!).
We also like to pay attention to trends. Which brings me to the small seaside town of Port Angeles, Washington, home to just under 20,000 people. In a very short span of time, about six weeks or so, the name Port Angeles popped up three times in relation to HME.
The first was a provider—whose individual name I did not catch, but the company was Jim’s Pharmacy & Health Care—who participated in the recent provider forum on competitive bidding. He minced no words.
"It’s unrealistic for Medicare to make a 50% cut and expect us to absorb that,” he said. “I cannot think of any other business that would do that.”
Adding insult to injury: audits.
“When you come back for a refund, boom you take it,” he said. “But, you expect us to wait 6,7,8 months to get reimbursed (for bid relief passed in The CUREs Act in December).”
Coincidentally, I recently spoke with Ryan French, also of Jim’s Pharmacy fame. Ryan was named as Brightree’s 2016 Ambassador Award from Brightree. The award is given to an individual with the greatest involvement and contributions to the Brightree Online Community. Ryan and I spoke about the importance of technology in HME (with about 2.5 years under his belt, he’s a relative newcomer to the industry). Look for my interview with him in the June issue.
Speaking of award winners, my third and final notice of Port Angeles is Michele Gunn of Browing's Pharmacy & Health Care, one of two inaugural Simon Margolis Fellows, who recently moved from Florida to Washington state. While I think the local weather and local customs are likely to be a shock, at least she’s in good company with other dedicated providers.