Being a Medicare DME (Durable Medical Equipment) provider is an opportunity for you to improve your direct to consumer marketing, build your patient base and develop referral relationships with the healthcare providers in your community.
As a Medicare DME provider, you would be opening your Sleep Apnea patient base to include those 65 and older, allowing you to help more potential apnea sufferers and expand your direct to consumer marketing base. Medicare covers oral appliances for patients who fall into the mild and moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea category or those who have tried and failed CPAP, a “target” potential patient base. Many Medicare patients have been prescribed a CPAP even though they may have been diagnosed as having mild OSA or even primary snoring. An estimated 60% of patients fail CPAP, meaning there is a large group of diagnosed apnea suffers either unaware there is something else they can try or actively seeking alternative treatment. By becoming a provider with Medicare, you can help your patients of record, people responding to direct to consumer “Hate Your CPAP” marketing and physicians looking to make connections with healthcare providers that can give their patients a safe, effective, FDA approved alternative.
By marketing towards “CPAP failure” patients, internally and externally, you will begin to identify the sleep physicians in your community through reviewing their sleep studies. Reaching out to these offices is beneficial to you in two ways. Many of these physicians have lost track of the patient sitting in front of you. When you begin to treat the patient and interface with their diagnostic physician, you bring them back to that office, not only providing this patient with the highest standard of care, but improving another healthcare provider’s practice. This physician is not only an asset in treating the individual patient, but will open you up to a referral relationship with them, especially when you are a provider for the insurance that most of their patients have, Medicare, growing your Sleep Apnea practice exponentially.
Becoming enrolled with Medicare is not as scary as you think! First, you would be enrolled solely as a Durable Medical Equipment provider, meaning that it would not affect billing for any of the dental procedures that you are performing in your practice. Second, your medical biller can bill Medicare claims for you as soon as you get your provider number, or PTAN. Third, DSM Solutions can help you apply. Filling out the application can get complicated. We are experienced with the system for applying to be provider and the information required to get you approved quickly and efficiently.
If you have any questions about how being a Medicare DME would work with your practice structure, marketing to attract these patient, interfacing with physicians or are seeking help with your application, please give us a call. We are looking forward to continuing to help you expand your practice.