As 2017 winds down, it’s time to examine which steps you should take to end the year on a high note and start the new year with the right foot. Is your HME business prepared for 2018? Do you have a strategy to drive growth and profitability while increasing efficiency? Many HMEs want the latest tools to improve workflow, impress referral sources, and measure and benchmark against other organizations, but having the right business strategy is just as important.
Here are some ways that can help you maximize profit, create efficiency, and find new revenue streams.
1. Examine your 2017 data
Successful HME providers rely on data to make timely, well-informed decisions about their business operations. Look at your 2017 sales data and profits by product type and referral source to understand what drove your revenues. Leveraging intuitive dashboards and tracking your metrics against key performance indicators (KPIs) helps you to gain the visibility needed to make sound business decisions and identify workflow bottlenecks, to increase efficiency.
For optimal visibility, you should invest in a best-in-class software platform that offers both an executive dashboard and a business scorecard. An executive dashboard provides trending data over an extended period of time – whether it’s a few months or an entire year — which will enable you to create a Strategic Business Plan for 2018. A business scorecard provides a snapshot of where the business stands at that moment. This will give you the opportunity to adjust your formula and sales strategy moving into the new year.
2. Leave no stone unturned
Take advantage of efficient billing tools that can help you manage your outstanding A/R with real-time reports and interactive worklists that enable you to distribute tasks among your staff and manage workflows electronically. These tools should help you effectively measure where your money is by payor and timeframe, and actively collect your receivables before the end of the year. HME providers can also monitor the effectiveness and productivity of their billing department by employee and take measures moving forward.
3. Become Audit Ready for 2018
HME businesses face increasing numbers of pre- and post-payment audits, which can be very stressful and costly. Without a sound strategy and technology platform to maintain accurate and retrievable documentation, an audit request can disrupt operations and put your organization at financial risk. Look for a software solution that automatically finds the correct documents and adds them to each claim, as well as sends audit responses using the latest esMD (Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation) protocols. Beyond improving efficiency, the right technology can help providers maintain a strong cash flow by resolving audits quickly and accurately.
4. Strengthen the relationship with your Referral Sources
Referrals are the heart of any HME business. It is hard work to establish productive relationships with referral sources and keep them engaged with you long term. Referral sources want to hear about the features and benefits of your products, and receive feedback about how well your products are meeting the needs of your patients to prevent readmission. Clinicians want providers who are equipped to accept referrals electronically (e-Referrals), request electronic signatures, and share patient data and outcomes. You need the most advanced technology to meet the expectations of your referral sources.
More and more referral sources are embracing the transmission of electronic referrals through their EHR system. In the near future, physicians may opt to only send referrals to providers who are equipped to accept e-Referrals, request eSignatures, and automatically share patient data and outcomes easily. HME providers that implement a strong technology platform will be most prepared to succeed in this new interconnected world.
Is 2018 Going to Be Your Best Year Yet?
If your performance fell short, Brightree will help you design your business plans for the upcoming year, and help you make the appropriate changes to improve your internal processes, and the efficiency of your operations so you can run a profitable and cash-healthy operation in 2018; all while focusing on the most important elements of patient care.