What's the Buzz at HME News Business Summit 2022?

For the first time since 2019, the HME News Business Summit returned to its traditional in-person format, this time in Nashville. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Joey Graham, attended the 2022 summit, so he stopped by The Modern Healthcare Back Office to discuss what he learned during his time there. 

The annual summit is typically attended by vendors and decision-makers in the industry, such as owners, presidents, CEOs, and COOs from some of the largest providers. One benefit of the summit is it brings all the high-ranking individuals together and places them on a singular educational track most relevant to the HME executive, which provides significant networking opportunities.

The first presentation mentioned was Medically Home’s coverage of the hospital-at-home movement that is currently taking place. Hospital-at-home has been around for a while, but it didn't experience an increase in popularity until COVID-19 occurred. The ideology behind the practice is not every illness needs to be treated in a hospital. There are instances where the necessary hospital infrastructure can be set up inside a patient's house.  

One of the biggest challenges associated with hospital-at-home is not every house is considered suitable for setting up a hospital room. Obstacles such as lack of cleanliness, mold, and inadequate space are all factors that can prevent a patient from being qualified. On top of that, they are billing the same DRGs, which is standard, but now they also have to fulfill every operational aspect that takes place at the hospital inside the patient's home. This means hospitals in the future will need to learn to manage a budget incorporating nursing, food delivery, and cleaning service expenses while still remaining profitable. 

The BRAF Group provided another highly informative discussion during the summit. BRAF is a mergers and acquisition firm that discussed 10-year trends of M&A activity in home care. They offered insight by dividing each segment into different specialties of home care: HME, home health, hospice, pharmacy services, healthcare staffing, and behavioral healthcare.

Out of the five specialties that the BRAF Group focused on, HME was the only one with a negative trend in the last 10-years. The leading cause behind the decline in HME deals is uncertainty brought on by competitive bidding. Many people believe that this new post-competitive bidding fee schedule the industry has arrived at is far too low. Especially when you take the supply chain issues into consideration. 

Other information that was mentioned during that presentation was staffing related. Healthcare staffing companies have experienced rapid growth in 2022. This is due to large numbers of nurses quitting after the peak of COVID, which has resulted in a massive nursing shortage. Some staffing businesses have resorted to hiring certified nurses from other countries to fill vacant positions. However, they are considered nursing assistants, not RNs, but they can complete 80% of what the nurses can.

Listen to The Modern Healthcare Back Office and get caught up on the material you missed during one of our favorite HME conferences of the year. Learn about subjects like the benefits of viewing the VGM Survey and the hot HME news topics that everyone discussed at the 2022 summit in our full episode below:


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