Looking back at the last 10 years in this industry is like looking at a car wreck at the side of the road while you’re going 80 mph on the freeway: If you don’t pay attention, you’ll be right there with them.
Code changes, CMNs, no CMNs, purchase option, no purchase option, HIPAA, accreditation, surety bonds, competitive bidding, RACs… the list goes on and on. It sometimes seems like the more we try to change, the more we stay the same. One code replaces another, and trying to change the way the documentation is collected still doesn’t seem to resolve the root issues.
Creating a more complicated and complex system to provide service only compounds the issues, making it harder on providers, manufacturers, clinicians, and especially the beneficiary. The fundamental flaws have created a race to the bottom, yet the expectation is that we perform at the top. This dichotomy is one of the things that hasn’t changed in the last 10 years, and may not ever change.
The bright spot on the horizon will come from technology and getting the right people to communicate with each other. Adding more convolutions to the system only makes it harder to be compliant, while the goal should be making it easier to be compliant.
I don’t know what the next 10 years will bring, but I know to keep both hands on the wheel.
Rick Graver, owner of Medtech Services headquartered in Reno, Nev., is a member of MM’s editorial advisory board. He penned a column called “Tools of the Trade” for MM’s first issue.