HME News

DEC 2017

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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hme news / december 2017 / 9 c ommentary Annu A l A ddress: inv A c A re Annu A l A ddress: the med group How to march the HME industry forward Clinical support, efficient deliveries define CRT By e d a rms T rong t he CO n ST an TLY evolv- ing h M e market, com- bined with competitive bidding, requires manufactur- ers and providers to look at their businesses differently. n o longer are the days of simply delivering product and billing for reimbursement. Success in the h M e industry looks much different than it has even in the last five years. The focus on pro- viding value through innovative solutions in the form of prod- ucts and services will help allow the industry to provide quality patient care. Providing value for sustainability Manufacturers in the h M e indus- try will find success now and in the future through developing innovations. Introducing prod- ucts and services that demon- strate the ability to help alleviate some of the daily stresses placed on providers play an important role in the success of manufacturers. Providers should seek out manufac- t u re r s w h o o f f e r innovative products and solutions that give the provider a c c e s s t o c r i t i c a l information about p r o d u c t p e r f o r - m a n c e a n d o t h e r key informatics to assist in asset management and allocation of personnel resources. The result can be improved service capa- bilities that providers can offer the patient and discharging entities. Providing value for clinical efficiency Manufacturers who place an emphasis on providing clinical value products for patients posi- tion their businesses for success by assisting in easing the bur- den patients face w h i l e p r o v i d i n g confidence to dis- charging facilities. a clinically effective, easy-to-use product combined with fea- tures that are intui- tive and designed to help minimize stigma associated with medical prod- ucts helps encourage patient compliance. Providers who utilize robust c l i n i c a l s o l u t i o n s f o r t h e i r product offering are actively working to promote effective- ness through the full value chain. n o longer can provid- ers only focus on select aspects of profitability—a total cost of ownership mindset must be implemented into a provider's day-to-day activities. e ver y truck roll, patient phone call, or deployment of an incorrect or non-effective solution costs time and money. Patient read- mission for poor therapy com- pliance can strain relationships with therapists, while impacting the funnel of patients who are referred to a specific provider. Working with manufacturers who understand a provider's needs and who can provide innovative solutions can help positively impact the full value chain for a provider. Providing value for P atient care Providing value in the h M e industry goes beyond just a man- ufacturer and provider relation- ship. This same thinking applies to the patients who use h M e products, too. a manufacturer whose focus is to provide products with sus- tainable value for patients will also see providers benefit from advancements such as integrat- ed informatics or connectivity, as well. These same products that showcase a manufacturer's commitment to the h M e indus- try, when transferred from a pro- vider to a patient, gives patients and caregivers a helping hand to be more independent. a confi- dent, independent patient who trusts in and, therefore, utilizes their medical device can help streamline providers' asset allo- cation and, ultimately, the value chain. hme Ed Armstrong is vice president, prod- uct & channel marketing at Invacare, where he has primary responsibility for the Post-Acute Care commercial business, including home health and institutional channels. Reach him at By Ted m e T calf a S a complex rehab tech- nology (CRT) provider, one important avenue to grow your business is to main- tain and increase clinician refer- rals for rehab orders. You should aim to build relationships with new potential referral sources, while ensuring your current referral sources continue to see the value in working with you. d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t y o u understand the market and your referral's needs can help a clinic or doctor feel more comfortable making your company the first company they recommend to patients. Some things clinicians may consider include product selection, clinical support, and delivery/service and repair. There is no "one size fits all" when providing CRT equipment. In addition to the basic require- ments, many CRT users have personal preferences for their power or manual chairs. Some things to consider are: 4 d o you offer a robust prod- uct selection to your clinical referral sources? 4 d o you have good relation- ships with multiple manufactur- ing partners, or have access to a g PO with a diverse portfolio of business partners that you can utilize? 4 d o you have access to manu- facturers to demo and evaluate equipment at the initial evalu- ation and/or for a loaner closet use? One way to impress clini- cians is to be able to process a patient's order quickly and cor- rectly. e nsuring that you are pro- viding comprehensive clinical support at all levels may benefit your company and your clinical relationships. When reviewing your clinical support services, ask yourself: 4 What programs do you offer to your clinical referral sources? a re seating and positioning tech- nicians available outside of an assistive technology profession- al ( a TP) evaluation and delivery time for support, adjustments to equipment, and possible changes to the client's equipment needs? 4 a re tools in place at the ini- tial a TP evaluation period to ensure all clinical criteria is cap- tured at the beginning, includ- ing utilizing customer relation- ship management (CRM) evalu- ation software and measuring time frames between evalua- tion and delivery of the client's equipment? 4 a re employees fully engaged in the documentation and fund- ing process to ensure a timely delivery of equipment to the user? Is there follow up and pro- active communication to let both client and clinician know where they are in the process? 4 d o you have visibility to w h e re a d d i t i o n a l s u p p o r t m a y b e needed to move an o rd e r f o r w a rd i n the system? There are many tools out there for this, but ultimately, having t r a i n e d e m p l o y - e e s t o re c o g n i z e when and how an order can be held up in the system and the proactive steps to take to get things moving again is important. h aving a quick, seamless delivery system benefits you, your customers, and your refer- ral sources. Being able to handle any potential delays and hav- ing a reputation for speedy and accurate delivery will most likely give you a competitive advantage with your referral sources. When evaluating your delivery services, consider: 4 Can you speed up the docu- mentation process with a well- trained, knowledgeable staff that understands the billing and coding needs of CRT equipment, especially for users who may have a need that must be met expeditiously? 4 a re you able to track the process times of receiving equip- ment from the man- ufacturer to deliver- ing the equipment to the client? Track- ing such key perfor- m a n c e i n d i c a t o r s can help identify areas for process i m p r o v e m e n t o r may show that you are better than your competitors. 4 d o y o u h a v e a dedicated service and repair team that can quickly respond, diagnose, and correctly repair equipment, either in the field or at your facility? a coordinated effort and a dedicated service repair team available to your cli- ents is important to your clients and your clinical referral sources. The areas above are a good starting point for a self-evalua- tion, but the needs of clinicians in your area may be different. It is important to do research and know what's important to those you wish to serve. Your next step is to remind your current referral sources about the value of working with you, and use these points to mar- ket yourself to potential new referral sources. Ways to market your company include: 4 Invite people for a tour of your facility and show off your product selection and service repair area. Follow up with an occasional phone call, e-mail, or direct mail piece to help you stay top of mind. 4 Let referral sources know when you have a new product or announce when an employee becomes certified. 4 Keep your website up-to- date and be active on social media. Taking the time to under- stand the market, designing a business to help answer the needs of your customers, then letting them know how you are different is an important step in helping to impress both current and potential referral sources. hme Ted Metcalf has been the national account manager at The MED Group for the last three years, covering the Southeastern region. Reach him at ed armstrong ted metcalf No longer can providers only focus on select aspects of profitability—a total cost of ownership mindset must be implemented. Every truck roll, patient phone call, or deployment of an incorrect or non-effective solution costs them time and money.

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