WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 5, 2019)—The American Association for Homecare’s (AAHomecare) newest council convened for the first time in Arlington, Virginia, last week and got off to a flying start. The initial meeting for the Payer Relations Council focused on establishing strategic objectives for 2020 and beginning to build the road map for the HME industry to succeed outside of the Medicare space.

The meeting discussion, facilitated by the in90group, identified areas of focus for the council for the upcoming year, including educating the payer community on the value of HME. There is a great opportunity for the HME sector to help lead efforts to deliver comprehensive quality care while achieving overall cost savings across the health care continuum. The council will spearhead efforts to educate payers, policymakers, providers, vendors, and patients on the value of HME and develop compelling and consistent messaging to support that work. Other initial priorities set by the council include:

  • Expanding on recent success in MCO rate protection in Kentucky;
  • Focusing initially on Medicaid and MCO plans;
  • Establishing and leveraging what can be achieved at the national level vs. state-by-state.
  • Medicare Advantage: evaluating what is required by these plans and educating the provider community to hold these plans to those requirements.

The 25 council members in attendance share a desire to make a tangible impact on how HME providers work with major payers across the nation, making sure that the value of HME is fully understood and appreciated, while also sharing collective experiences and expertise that suppliers can use in their dealings with different payer entities.

“As reimbursement in our industry continues to become increasingly complex, it is imperative that providers have a resource to help them navigate these new payment models and vast bureaucracies,” said Jason Morin, director of reimbursement for Home Care Specialists. “The Payer Relations Council that Laura Williard and AAHomecare are developing is an outstanding group of professionals representing the full scope of the HME industry. After this productive initial meeting, I’m excited about what we can accomplish.”

“We have a mountain of work ahead of us, but I don’t think anyone expects an easy solution as we continue to work strategically with these payer groups,” adds Virginia Cate, vice president of managed care field operations with Apria Healthcare. “Together, we are going to do some amazing things for our industry by infusing a level of discipline and knowledge that we can use to align payers and providers to ensure patients are receiving the most cost effective and clinically appropriate care.”

“It is exciting to participate in honest and imaginative conversation about how to move in the right directions in healthcare and not just lament the difficulties,” remarked Brad Heath, vice president of operations and marketing for Family Medical Supply. “This Council will help us all to get a clearer picture by learning from one another and sharing both successes and failures in order to build a better model. I am extremely excited to see where this leads us and am appreciative to the AAHomecare team for taking the initiative on it.”

Devin De Lozier, vice president for strategic partnerships and payer relations with SuperCare Health, shared his thoughts by video on a “historic” meeting, making note of how competitors are coming together to approach challenges on a strategic level.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.