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 wrote.
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.”