Prioritize your investments
To be successful today, HME organizations must run their business with top of the line digital technology. Despite financial margin pressures, providers need to make investments in technology to increase productivity, lower costs, demonstrate quality metrics all the while insuring patient satisfaction. It is also worth pointing out that in an environment with lower fees, shrinking market share and new payment models, failure to make fundamental changes to the HME’s organizational structure and the way services are delivered might result in providers becoming non-relevant.
Utilizing the right technology wisely is the best way for providers to coordinate care, provide compliance reports, create efficiency and stay on top of policies and regulations in the HME business. Here are some emerging trends to consider:
Technology that provides an ROI
HME providers can no longer afford outdated solutions that only provide billing tools and are not fully integrated with the rest of the business. Providers with outdated business management systems that are outdated or not integrated might have a tough time tracking sales orders, customer/patient information, inventory and compliance guidelines, etc. The results can lead to delayed or lost data, decreased revenue, lost referral sources and unhappy patients. Systems should not only connect you to your data, it should enable you to see all areas of your operation in one place. Real-time visibility into your business performance can help gain a deeper insight into your operations, and increase efficiency and your ROI.
Readmissions under the microscope
As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to enforce better patient outcomes as a measure for reimbursements, it is most important to ensure that the condition of the patient is improving all the while limiting acute-care readmission. Therapy compliance and patient education help meet these goals and minimize the cost of chronic disease management. Why wait 90 days to prove compliance through patient follow-up when real-time integration, directly from the equipment, can help you prove compliance and document what you need for billing in 30 days?
Sleep Therapy Compliance helps you deliver meaningful information to your acute-care referral sources and avoid readmissions since you’re helping more of their patients comply with home therapy care protocols. Reinforcing compliance also strengthens the relationship with your referral sources as you can assist them in delivering successful patient outcomes, not just episodes of care. You get to become a reliable partner for their care team!
Connecting to the healthcare continuum
More referral sources are embracing the transmission of electronic referrals through their EHR system. Physicians may soon opt to send referrals to providers that have embraced interoperability and are equipped to accept eReferrals, request eSignatures, and automatically share patient data and outcomes easily and thoroughly. It’s time to implement a strong technology platform to succeed in this new interconnected world. HMEs who act now will succeed, while those that continue using legacy technology may be left behind.
The right technology helps you drive inventory out of your warehouse and into the hands of patients. With solutions like ePurchasing your organization can become even more efficient and cost-effective by ordering supplies directly from leading vendors and performing direct-to-patient shipping. This relieves high shipping charges, reduces your inventory costs and gets equipment into the hands of the patient much faster. In addition, having a system that allows you to seamlessly communicate with your referral sources, accept electronic referrals and capture electronic signatures helps reduce errors, decrease order entry times and, most importantly coordinate care and improve patient outcomes.
Outsourcing your billing
Outsourced billing allows for a purely incremental expense structure for the billing operation while eliminating excess as well as fixed personnel costs during slow seasonal periods. It also offers protection from staff turnover and periodic absenteeism, which can result in transaction backlogs and reduced cash flow. Many HME providers struggle with low collection rates and high costs to collect insurance reimbursements. Utilizing the right billing services vendor can help:
- increase cash flow
- get cash in the door quicker (lowering DSO)
- improve reimbursement rates through higher claims quality and audit readiness, and
- allow you to focus internal resources on patient care and company growth.
In addition, outsourcing your Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) function can improve management of your claims and enhance the speed of your cash collections.
The right Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) team, experts in the collections, can be an extension of your team, growing revenues faster and insuring your operations run smoother than ever.
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