30 years ago In yet another scenario that has since become all too familiar, HME companies were anxiously awaiting the results of proposed Medicare policies

30 years ago

In yet another scenario that has since become all too familiar,
HME companies were anxiously awaiting the results of proposed
Medicare policies on oxygen from what was then called the
Department of Health, Education and Welfare. As background,
HomeCare featured an article outlining the National
Affiliation of Durable Medical Equipment's plans to fight the
regulations, which proposed limiting Medicare payments for oxygen
therapy to “only when it is determined medically necessary
for the patient.”

Citing the importance of relationships between HME providers and
representatives in Washington, NADMEC Executive Director Edward
Roseman advised providers to forge friendships with their
congressmen in order to have an impact on regulations.

“It has become increasingly apparent that government will
play an overwhelming role in the sales and rental of durable
medical equipment,” Roseman told HomeCare readers.
“The number of influences grows daily. What we can rent and
sell, how much we are being paid for our equipment is increasingly
regulated by HEW, Medicare, Medicaid, city and state welfare,
Department of Health Care Financing Administration, the paying
agents and many more.”

Also of note:

  • HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano announces that national health
    insurance could save the nation 10 percent of the projected 1990
    health bill of $730 billion.

20 years ago

HomeCare Publisher Denise Novoselski wrote her
“Viewpoint” segment in March of 1988, but the premise
resonates with startling accuracy over today's landscape.

“In an era of ever-diminishing reimbursement, the entire
subject of accreditation, even on a voluntary basis, is one which
can raise the hackles of many home health firms. However, it is the
future, and the future is here; competitively, you may be unable to
survive without the [Joint Commission on the Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations] stamp of approval,” Novoselksi

March also saw the onset of several proactive efforts from
industry groups. The Virginia Association of Durable Medical
Equipment Companies was instrumental in introducing three bills
aimed at stemming the involvement of nonprofit hospitals in home
care into the Commonwealth's Assembly, and HME companies including
Primedica, Baxter and Abbey Medical, with the influence of the San
Diego Medical Equipment Suppliers Association, came together to
share problems and ideas in an effort to “improve home care
services and equipment for the community.”

Also of note:

  • Providers saw a marked upswing in sales after research found
    that nebulizers provided an alternative and less harmful treatment
    method for AIDS patients.

10 years ago

Individuals and industries were flocking to the call of the
World Wide Web, but, as HomeCare reported, the HME industry
was slow to respond to the new technology. The magazine researched
Web activity among providers in 1998, and what we found was a
largely untapped resource — or, as our writers put it:
“For most HME providers, the Web remains uncharted territory,
a mysterious universe whose reaches have yet to be explored. Yet,
for a handful, the Web is a place brimming with potential —
and industry consultants say the future success of HME services
companies will rest, at least in part, on their residence in

  • According to a HomeCare poll, 25 percent of HME providers
    had no Web access at all, either at work or at home. Only 33
    percent had access at work.

  • Of those who did not have any Web access at all, 34 percent said
    they had no plans to acquire access in 1998.

Also of note:

  • The industry is up in arms over a proposal by President Clinton
    to cut Medicare costs for equipment through “nationwide
    competitive pricing.” Experts fear “competitive
    pricing” is really just a way of saying “competitive