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:
Data analytics, in which healthcare companies collect patient data to provide a more efficient, lower-cost care plan, are increasingly driving healthcare decisions.
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.
In order to become an ally with payors, DME suppliers must maintain flawless records on their customers, including:
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.
We have all heard it a thousand times – the DME business model is changing. We know that you know by now that in order to stay afloat, you have to change the way you do business.
We have seen a number of forward-thinking providers who are not just surviving but thriving in the new DME market. Here are three things that I’m seeing them do to make the market work for them:
Margins: DME companies that are thriving are hyper-focused on managing their margins. They make sure that from order to reimbursement, they are maximizing their margins at every step.
Control: Inventory control has never been as important as it is today. The growth-based companies are investing in inventory tracking systems like ours, which allow them to monitor every item they carry. With careful controls in place, they can eliminate costly overhead while delivering on time and within price margins.
Software: Software has come a long way in the last five years, and yet many providers are under-utilizing the software available to them. Now is the time to make sure that you really understand and use what your software providers are offering your business. At a minimum, you should be able to access myriad reports to help you run your business.
The DME market is changing, but remember that DME is a “must-have” industry, so it will not go away. The providers who thrive in the new conditions will be able to maximize the three elements above and more.
Wondering how you can thrive in 2018? Give us a call!
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software works across many functions of the business. For example, inventory. Purchase orders to vendors are created and sent electronically. As products come in, they are entered into the ERP so that all products are accounted for in real-time, and with their actual costs. Bar code systems keep the inventory up to date, so that products can be ordered on a just-in-time basis.
Also, constant analysis of the actual cost of the product (COGS – cost of goods sold) vs. the income generated makes pricing of products much more efficient and real profit/loss can be determined on individual product lines. Customer service reps always know exactly what is in stock for customers, and if a product is available at a different store, they can give the customer the option of going to that store or having the item shipped to them.
ERP can bring the inventory into each individual delivery truck, enabling the truck drivers to track inventory and always have items on hand. In this way, ERP turns trucks into mobile warehouses, and drivers become responsible for their own inventory. A second trip to deliver to a patient costs on average of $70. With an ERP system integrated to curbside, proper patient sizing, inoperative equipment, and compliance documents are complete and accurate.
With the ERP system, the driver begins the day by stocking the truck with all items that may be needed on the day’s delivery route, as well as the automatically generated printed documentation for each delivery. Then the ERP plans an optimized delivery route for them.
Once they arrive curbside, they can have multiple sizes and items available so that the driver can test equipment for size and operability. Once the item is assigned to the customer based on bar code, the ERP provides the driver with automatically generated compliance documents on a handheld device. As they review each document provided to the customer, they check off the items on their device and obtain customer signature.
Meanwhile, inventory levels are immediately updated based on the bar code, and the billing team receives the documentation and can send the claim even as the driver is still on the road. This entire process typically eliminates the need for second trips for the same order, representing significant cost savings since each trip costs an average of $70.
When a customer service representative enters a customer’s information, all of the critical elements are maintained within the ERP system. Once a customer profile is set up, all documentation is attached to that customer, drastically increasing the efficiency of the billing operation.
Because the ERP is synced up with the billing and insurance information, customer service reps can tell customers whether items are eligible for reimbursement and the expected rate of reimbursement in real-time.
They can also tell customers if they have pending payments due, speeding the payment process. Patient responsibility can be identified and a credit card placed on file to file automatically collect the money when the claim is adjudicated. If the patient cannot pay that amount on a single charge then a payment plan can be established at intake.
The billing team can instantly access billing records, reimbursement rates, and documentation for any individual claim. This allows them to immediately remedy problems before submitting for reimbursement. The integration of the ERP means that the billing team has a much higher rate of accuracy when submitting claims, because the system will tell them when a claim is incomplete, virtually eliminating denials based on incomplete claims.
With software, it’s easy to feel like suffering with your existing solution is better than undergoing the risk, uncertainty and upheaval of implementing something new.
However, in today’s DME industry, there is no more time for sub-par software. Margins are too tight, and competition is too high. If you’re still using software that is not fully integrated with your inventory system and features the latest in billing and reporting technology, then you may not make it through the current industry transition.
You need software that integrates all revenue-based business activities (ordering, inventory, customers, delivery, billing) on a single platform. This integration streamlines business operations and improves profitability.
You need software that covers all the essential business activities in your DME operation:
If you’re juggling these activities between multiple software products today, then you are wasting time and losing money.
Converting to Bonafide’s software solution can seem like a stressful undertaking, but it will pay off huge dividends in terms of productivity and profitability. We promise that we will make the transition as easy as possible. In addition to personalized installation support, we have online training courses and an extensive online knowledge base and documentation that you can access anytime, anywhere.
We will work hand-in-hand with your executive team to ensure that data transfer goes as smoothly as possible, and we’ll provide ongoing training and technical support as needed during the implementation phase.
What do you think? Are you ready to take the leap forward that you need to thrive in the DME industry?
This is not an easy decision, but it is the right one.