Happy Thanksgiving From SpendMend

Written by: Dan Geelhoed, CEO and Rob Heminger, President

2020 has been an extremely challenging year for all of us and it can be difficult to find things to be thankful for with COVID-19 continuing to impact families and businesses.  In light of these unprecedented challenges, we find it is still helpful to take a moment during this time of year to reflect on the things we have to be thankful for.

At SpendMend, our mission is to help hospitals improve patient care through the delivery of our cost savings solutions, transaction analysis, and improved visibility.  Through our work in 2020, We feel like we’ve been able to make a real difference and provide relief to hospitals in terms of cash flow and key insights for supply chain improvements.  We are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to serve our community.

We are also extremely thankful to frontline workers and healthcare staff from every corner of client population (and every other healthcare network, for that matter) that continue to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 every single day.  They are all facing the impacts of the virus directly and we thank them for their courage.

On a more personal note, We are also very thankful for the kind and open hearts within the SpendMend organization.  Many charitable organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic and have greater needs than in previous years.  We were impressed by the way our staff stepped up, in 2020, by supporting Van Andel Institute’s Bee Brave 5K and Kids Food Basket- Grand Rapids when those organizations really needed support.

We have another chance to make an impact with our Toys for Tots drive starting next week.  We are so fortunate to be in a position to help others and I am thankful (and inspired) to have a team that really cares about others.

The novelist, James Lane Allen once said, “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.”  We reflect on this quote from time to time as we look back over the past year and think about all the ways in which so many people have stepped up to face the challenge in front of them.

Like many, we are ready for 2020 to be over, but we are still thankful for all of the great people who have worked so hard to do amazing things through this difficult time.  It has us feeling very hopeful about what lies ahead in 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With OIG Waivers Lifted, Hospitals Face Steep Penalties at the Worst Time

On March 30, 2020, in reaction to the President’s declaration of a national health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) waived several CMS and OIG program requirements and their related audits.

Several months later CMS signaled the reversal of their order announcing their intention to “discontinue exercising enforcement discretion beginning on August 3, 2020, regardless of the status of the public health emergency.”

Translation:  At the direction of CMS, OIG is back doing audits to ensure hospitals are following procedures and one of their key focal points is Medical Device Explant Warranties, an initiative that, alone, is projected to recover billions of dollars from U.S. hospitals.

While there isn’t clear guidance on exactly how the rollout of the audit programs will take place, it’s clear that CMS and the OIG are intent on trying to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse in pursuit of recovering monies they feel are owed back to Medicare.

All U.S. hospitals are in scope and there have been cases where some systems have been blindsided by claims in excess of $40M.  Your hospital has likely been in violation of the credit handling process and will owe significant dollars based on the OIG audit.  In a recent sample of 296 hospitals, the OIG found that 100% of hospitals were in violation.

Unseen errors can come in many different forms and are based on several factors.  For example, in 2017 Abbott Laboratories recalled a Coronary Dilation Catheter which was experiencing a protective balloon inflation malfunction.   The recall resulted in thousands of replacements and subsequently resulted in thousands of potentially mismanaged warranty credits.  The OIG will be checking to see if your hospital handled these (and many other recall-based credits) correctly.

Are you prepared?

SpendMend recommends calling in one of our tenured specialists to perform a Mock OIG Audit to assess your compliance and any risk you might have. Program oversites are as common as they are costly – and they happen every day.

Why I Do What I Do…

Written By: David Hewitt, RVP of Sales – East, SpendMend

Remember, before this pandemic took over our lives, when we all used to travel to trades shows?

Last year – about this time – I attended the AHRMM Health Care Supply Chain Conference in San Diego.  I recall, we were wrapping up a very long second day of meetings and sessions and the show organizers thoughtfully wheeled in some hospitality stations (read: mobile bars) and number of tall bistro tables so we could all collectively wind down and do a bit of socializing.

I walked over to join a friendly-looking group of attendees who were enjoying a few refreshments and in no time we all got to talking.

I was in the middle of a huge conference room floor that was playing host to a couple thousand healthcare professionals and in that moment, I found myself in a cluster of 8 people.  There were managers and staff from various hospitals, suppliers and a GPO rep.

Try as we might, we could not steer our conversation completely away from work and eventually after a few musings about the day of classes and sessions, the topic of “Why?” came up in our conversation.

I was surrounded by a handful of professionals from almost every corner of the healthcare industry and just by chance every one of us was a little *ahem* seasoned in our professional lives.  That is to say, we were all at a similar stage where we could choose to do what we wanted with our careers.

But we all chose healthcare…


We had all flown to that conference and chose to spend a week away from our families and locked ourselves into a conference hall to educate ourselves on the latest trends and information on healthcare.


I won’t leave you in too much more suspense.  Unanimously, we all agreed it was about the mission of “Patient Care.”

The reason why we do this every day is because we all wished to make the world just a little healthier and we wanted to improve the overall quality of people’s lives.  This ambition rings even more true in the current environment; it seems we’ve all been recently reminded that our health is fragile and that good, high-functioning healthcare is vital.

The fact is, when you work in healthcare – you have a job that really matters.  Whether you’re serving in the most hands on capacity like a surgeon or a nurse; whether you are supporting a hospital in one of its many back office capacities; whether you represent the vast population of solution providers – you are helping to make people healthier.

This simple conversation was a real highlight of that show for me.  Heck, it was a highlight of my whole year.

What’s your “why?”