HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o
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Smart Talk 10 www.hmenews.com / april 2017 / hme news Online retail Billing Apply Online Now! Deadline June 2nd We ' re looking for the nation ' s premier providers The HME Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of providers who excel in an industry full of challenges. Are you one of them? For more details and to apply for free, visit: excellence award 2017 AWARDS www.HMEExcellenceAwards.com Attention manufacturers: Nominate your best provider customers! a void feeling duped By Kamal Haddad Q. i followed everybody's advice and built an online store—why is it not working? a . The buzz around theHME indus- try is you must sell retail and you should have an online store so you can sell more items to your patients. While that may be mostly true, I do not think people in this industry are being completely honest with respect to e-commerce, including the investment that is required or the actual return on investment. Of course, companies that build e-commerce websites think you should have one. Their objective is to sell you what they offer. That is how THEY make money. But, what about you? The question should be, "What do YOU need?" My philosophy on e-commerce is simple. Why do you want to sell online and how do you plan on integrating that with your overall objectives? How does an e-commerce website relate to your business objective or brand? Use e-commerce as a way to differenti- ate yourself from your competition by offering better service and a com- petitive edge. The real issue is whether you go at it alone or outsource some or all of the functions. What's the answer? It's simple. Do you have the ability to commit the staff time, expertise and resources to manag- ing an online store? You need some- one to keep the catalog and pricing updated, process and ship orders, and handle customer service. If you are not willing (or cannot) commit those resources, there will be a high failure rate. After a well-trained sales staff that can walk the patient through the buying decision using your e-commerce store, the back-end operation is the most important function. Either put those assets in place, or work with someone who offers a fully managed solution. hme Kamal Haddad is CEO of Health Mobius. Reach him at khaddad@healthmobius. com. Become a billing warrior By Ted Jones Q. How can i be more proactive with my accounts receivables? a . Aggressive accounts receivable management is serious business and keeping your A/R clean requires set- ting a very high but attainable bar. Start with a standard of achieving less than 60-days collection, forc- ing your team to look at internal processes causing claims to exceed that. On average, clean claims are paid within the initial 30 days after the billed date; and secondary claims are paid within 30 to 60 days. Achieving this standard requires establishing internal processes that support the team. To start, deter- mine the average claim value mak- ing up 80% of your receivables. For example, you may assume 80% of your revenue is coming from equip- ment rentals that bill at $70 per month, but on closer examination you may find that the 80% comes for all supplies that bill at X. Once you identify where 80% of your rev- enue lies, focus your collections to monitor the progress of that target. Claims in the 31 to 60 days buck- et should be reviewed. Categorize your findings and create worklists for your collection teams to address. Also, re-tool any internal process- es causing issues in each category. Fixing and rebilling the corrected claims will reset the claims in the 0 to 30 days bucket. Any claims with balances due to CO-45 adjustments (indicating billing above contract- ed amounts) should be written off. Finally, outsource your patient balances to a reputable healthcare receivables management company as they are better suited for manag- ing these collections and will yield you a greater return, freeing your internal team to work on payer col- lections. A/R over 120 days should be outsourced or written off depend- ing on the circumstances. Contact the provider relations departments of problematic payers who are slow to pay to work out a bulk collection strategy. Best of luck and remember to be proactive and aggressive. hme Ted Jones is CEO of bflow Solutions. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.