First and foremost, “Thank You”, for the value, service, and professionalism you bring in serving over 40 health plans and 13 million members covered by the Integra network. As you know, 2013 was a mixed year for our industry and for healthcare more broadly. The Affordable Care Act progressed further down its path and the burden to pay for it has led to an increase in audits, recoupment attempts, changes in rules (especially with respect to documentation) and continued reimbursement pressures. These changes to healthcare were felt by our industry (DMEPOS), but also, the broader healthcare system, where everyone has found it harder to profitably see patients. More than ever, successful providers are focusing their efforts on streamlining operations, expanding revenue sources, and reducing their cost of doing business in an effort to combat these impacts. On the other hand, the demographics for DMEPOS providers have never been stronger. Baby boomers are retiring at a pace of 10k individuals per day, patients are being moved to more cost effective settings (i.e. from the hospital and into the home), and government programs are looking to managed care organizations to more efficiently coordinate care for chronically ill patients. We see more patients in need of our services than ever before, and a DMEPOS community that is in the process of becoming more relevant to our healthcare delivery system as patients exit facility based settings.
At Integra, we have continued to partner with providers to help patients receive comprehensive care. Our release of Clear by Integra, a technology platform that allows a real-time link between payor and provider, has helped us to see the tremendous results of many of our DMEPOS providers in their communities. We are also happy that payors have recognized the strength of our providers and quality of their care, resulting in 9 new payor contracts and a number of preferred positions within networks. In 2013 we also began the development of more efficient technologies to amplify Clear and help the provider become more efficient. In 2014, we hope to release more tools to help our providers streamline and improve their businesses.
Looking ahead, we see more cooperation between community based providers (home care, personal care, social workers) and DMEPOS providers resulting in more business for those that can develop relationships and relevance in these collaborations. We are excited at the prospect that new patients will enter our healthcare system and will need DMEPOS services and we firmly believe that Integra will be a conduit to pull these varied pieces together.
There is a lot of road to travel, but we are excited at the long term prospects for our industry, the care we can deliver to patients, and working with each of our providers in the coming year.
Provider Spotlight: Long Island Orthotics and Prosthetics Dog’s have long been considered man’s best friend and one provider, member of the Integra Network since 2010, seems to be taking this message to heart!Long Island Orthotics and Prosthetics has helped 10 dogs in their community regain their ability to walk and play. All of the dogs were born with disabilities, although some, like Miss Harper (center below) also faced abusive living situations. LI O&P has helped create wheelchairs, braces, and other devices for man’s best friend.”Our goal is to give the animals, as well as their owners, the best quality of life they can get”.