Month: January 2018

Data Will Drive Progress in DME

January 26, 2018 Posted on Categories DME

The healthcare industry has faced massive shifts in recent years. As presented on December 20, 2017, in a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Deals Boom in Health-Care Shift,” these massive changes include:

  • Potential mergers disclosed since early December 2017 involve companies with more than $550 billion in cumulative revenue.
    • CVS Health Corp acquired Aetna Inc. for about $79 billion. Its goal is likely to keep patients out of emergency rooms and do more at revamped, upgraded drugstores.
    • UnitedHealth Group Inc. purchased DaVita Inc’s doctor group for $4.9 billion. This is likely part of a move toward corporate ownership of physician practices, clinics, and outpatient surgery centers.
  • These mergers signal that healthcare companies are seeking to drive down costs and change how and where patients get care: away from hospitals and toward clinics, doctors’ offices, surgery centers and retail stores.
  • Increasing numbers of Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled with a managed-care company, rather than getting their coverage directly from the government. These companies, including UnitedHealth and Humana, are seeking to reduce costs by reducing hospital care and driving care into the outpatient and home setting as much as possible.

Data analytics, in which healthcare companies collect patient data to provide a more efficient, lower-cost care plan, are increasingly driving healthcare decisions.

What this means for DME suppliers

These industry changes signal a significant opportunity for DME suppliers. As healthcare moves out of the hospital, more people will be seeking home health care supplies.

But the healthcare giants are going to seek partnerships with only the most advanced DME suppliers. This means that DME suppliers must incorporate the latest in software and data analytics solutions to ensure they can provide necessary information to healthcare companies. DME suppliers that survive the industry shift will be able to collect data that supports payors in demonstrating how products are keeping patients from being readmitted to hospitals.

The DME suppliers that recognize how they fit into the bigger picture of healthcare today are the ones that will succeed. They will recognize how they can make themselves indispensable to hospitals and payors.

Data drives progress

In order to become an ally with payors, DME suppliers must maintain flawless records on their customers, including:

  • Patient data, including address, caregiver, physician, etc.
  • Patient’s ailments
  • Patient’s historic and current home healthcare product usage

This data should be available instantly. With this data, the DME supplier can provide payors and hospitals with valuable insight into the efficacy of patient care, as well as the performance and usage of various DME products over time.

DME suppliers that invest in data collection and analytics are the ones that will survive the current industry consolidation.

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