McKesson puts the partnership in payer relations

‘I saw them putting their swords down and saying how do we work on this together’ Jeff Bowman says of the company’s provider roundtables
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

ROCK HILL, S.C. – McKesson recently hosted its fifth provider roundtable in Rock Hill, S.C., to discuss the importance of payer relations on the HME industry’s future.
“HME is a small percentage of what payers pay for, but it saves a lot of money in other areas of health care, because it’s less expensive to have a patient home than in an acute care or long-term care facility,” said Ashley Latva, account manager, HME, North Carolina, McKesson. “So we want payers to see the value of HME and work with HME instead of against it.”

McKesson already has at least four more roundtables scheduled in the beginning of 2020.
When McKesson held the first roundtable in Minnesota about a year and a half ago, organizers didn’t know what to expect, but they were encouraged by the outcome.
“It was cool because all these big regional providers were in the same room and it was the first time I saw them putting their swords down and saying how do we work on this together, instead of having our own little silos,” said Jeff Bowman, vice president, HME sales, McKesson.
The most important thing providers can do to improve payer relations is join AAHomecare, as well as their state association, says Bowman. There are only 14 AAHomecare members from California, a state that has more than 300 DME companies, he says. 
“We have to align from an advocacy perspective, and then work in concert with VGM, so we’re not duplicating efforts or resources, which is going to be the only way we make progress,” he said.
Providers also need to collect billing and point-of-care data that they can then take up the line to payers.

“This industry needs to figure out how to partner with payers and say, ‘We hear you; we understand you; there’s fraud; there’s waste; there isn't good communication; how do we improve on that?’” said Kris Srinivasan, senior manager, payer relations, HME, McKesson. “There’s an opportunity to really partner with them and see what the best solution is for the patient, ultimately.”