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How Can Private Practice Clinics Gain a Competitive Edge? Durable Medical Supplies.

Learn ways to gain an advantage your competition with Durable Medical Supplies. Stop wasting money and start increasing profits.

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5 min read
March 28, 2012
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Today's post is brought to us by Tim Beury, Operations Manager with Medical Resource Association. Thanks for sharing this information Tim!

If you are a physical or occupational therapist in the United States that has been in private practice the you have surely experienced the anxiety filled hour (or two!) of working out a good plan of action to effectively increase your referrals. You are undoubtedly familiar with the work it takes to be viewed in your community as a cut above the rest or at least above your competition around the corner. If you have not experienced this phenomenon then I urge you to stop reading and pick up the phone to call me and immediately let me in on your secret!

For all of the rest of us who do experience a certain level of this "anxiety" or "stress" from trying to pay the bills month to month, I have a recomendation for you. We know that therapists are constantly reaching and striving for the ultimate in patient care and perfection at their clinics without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. May I suggest introducing Durable Medical Supplies into your practice?

I honestly believe that this has been a very well kept secret in the private practice rehab world. Durable Medical Supplies is a sort of "diamond in the rough," so to speak.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced back on March 27, 2009 that clearly stated PT's and OT's fell under a special exemption rule and were not obligated to become Accredited in order to dispense Durable Medical Supplies in their private practices. This was some really excellent news, but I believe it was overlooked by many individual practitioners. We've found that may therapists do not follow DME or simply are not knowledgeable about the benefits of implementing this line of business into their private practice. 

The revenue benefits are not the highlight of this program in your practice, it is the continuity in patient care and the reassurance that your patient is not being fitted for DME (splints, braces, ect.) by someone less qualified than you.

There are independently owned PT/OT practices learning and implementing their own DME program with great success and it has most definitely provided an edge over some other competitors. 

Ready to learn more? Here are three initial steps to become a DME Supplier:

  • Fill out your 855S Enrollment Application
  • Begin asking your commercial and work comp payors for a DME Fee Schedule and request enrollment forms
  • Reach out to your local government agencies and see if you can supply their injured workers with DME Supplies (and of course their therapy)

For more information on the specific DME Supplier announcement from CMS please review this newsletter. The APTA provides a wealth of information on where to submit claims for DMEPOS along with rules and regulations on the program.  If you have specific question about getting started, please comment below!

Timothy L. Beury is the Operations Manager with Medical Resource Association, Inc. who's headquarters are in Sarasota, Florida. He is passionate about educating healthcare practitioners about ways to help them grow without breaking the bank! He has been helping independently owned healthcare businesses for over 12 years and has been attending educational outreach courses with the local Medicare Intermediaries across the US and he makes it a point to support and attend the APTA National Conferences every year!


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