HME News

NOV 2018

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 / NOVEMBER 2018 / HME NEWS BUSINESS OPERATIONS LEADERSHIP EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT Answer these five basic questions BY ANNE ORRICK Q. What are the five essential questions to answer in your collection policy? A. A collection policy is the set of proce- dures your company will follow to ensure payment of patient accounts. To cover the key elements in your policy, answer these five basic questions: WHAT ARE YOUR COLLECTION GOALS? Always start with the end in mind, so estab- lish your collection goals. Industry goals to consider include: days sales outstanding, clean claim ratio, open order days, hold days, cash recovery rate, denial rate, write- off rate. HOW WILL THOSE GOALS BE MEASURED? Goals should use SMART criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time- based. Track your workflow ratios on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Watch trends to determine if you need to adjust your collection policy to meet your Maximize ROI WILL ROSS Q. Should I buy or rent my equipment? A. The decision between buying or renting equipment has challenged business owners for years. The question most business lead- ers ask is "Do I have the right systems and processes in place to get a good ROI on what I purchase?" Here are the areas you need to focus on to get the best ROI on your equip- ment: NEGOTIATE PRICE, WARRANTY AND FINANCING Think about the total offer from the begin- ning. Manufacturers have many levers to pull to keep your business; be a smart purchaser. Purchasing at the end of the month or quarter may put you in a better negotiating position. ESTABLISH GOOD EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES Just like your car, money spent on preven- tative services can keep assets earning you revenue for longer. Utilize your fleet service data to make good decisions on where service dollar thresholds should be set. Sometimes a few more dollars on service will save you thousands on new purchases. SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR FLEET UTILIZATION Excess inventory is a sign of inefficient pro- cesses. Utilize partners that offer faster turn- around times that keep your devices on patients. It will save you from buying or rent- ing additional devices that are not needed. MAXIMIZE REVENUE OF ASSETS The assets you purchase have revenue oppor- tunities outside the patients you serve. Other care areas, such as skilled nursing facilities, have varying equipment needs that can turn into revenue opportunities for your assets. Don't miss opportunities to get additional revenue on your underutilized assets. HME Will Ross is vice president of marketing at Quality Medical. He can be reached at wross@qualitymedi- calsouth.com. Train your mind BY KELLY FRANKO Q. How can mindfulness help me lead? A. Many find that beginning the day with 20 minutes of gratitude and mindful awareness helps the balance of the day flow in a more calming way. Taking 20 minutes every morn- ing to "practice" mindfulness improves our ability to focus and think clearly as leaders so that we can make the complex decisions required of us. Now, more than ever, leaders need to train themselves to be fully present. Many companies today promote mindful practices to improve the health and decision making of their leaders. Google, Blackrock and Goldman Sachs led the way by offer- ing courses in mindfulness not only to their leaders, but also to their employees. Janice Marturano of General Mills was so successful in mindfulness training that she started the Institute for Mindful Leadership. This mind training, which includes medi- tation, can change the composition of your mind. These changes take the brain away from anger and anxiety and toward a sense of calm and wellbeing. According to Dan- iel Goleman, the father of Emotional Intel- ligence, "one way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us." This is mindfulness. Companies are seeing the training of mindfulness as a competitive advantage. A study conducted in partnership between Aetna and Duke University found these practices decreased stress levels by 28%, improved sleep quality 20%, reduced pain 19%, and improved productivity 62 min- utes per employee per week. As a result, Aetna now offers similar mindfulness pro- grams to all employees and its insured customers. HME Kelly Franko is owner of Advantage Training & Coaching Solutions. Reach her at kelly.franko@aol. com. goals. WHAT IS THE COLLECTION PROCESS? Flowchart your workflow. Identify the infor- mation to capture upfront and the payment options you will offer. Will you be flexible on your payment plans? Define how you'll contact the patient. What steps will you take to collect a past-due balance? Focus on automation—look for systematic ways to communicate to patients, process payments, track responses and age accounts with as little of your staff's involvement as possible. WHO WILL RESOLVE DISPUTES? Consider resolution specialists to handle the questions, research the accounts, determine how much should be written off, approve the write-off, etc. WHEN WILL YOU WRITE OFF AN ACCOUNT? Set guidelines to determine when to label a balance as uncollectable. Outline next steps —send the account to an outside agency or report to a credit bureau? The answers will serve as the foundation for your collection policy. Train your staff on the procedures to create clarity and consis- tency within your organization. HME Anne Orrick is COO of Allegiance Group. Reach her at aorrick@allegiance-group.com MARKET OPPORTUNITY Consider this: To expand or not? BY ROB SCHLISSBERG Q. How do I determine whether I should expand my business? A. As a provider you undoubtedly face many challenges, whether from changes in reim- bursement, staffing, operations, or competi- tive pressures. With all these potential focus areas, it's hard to determine where to allocate your limited resources. For some, growth and diversification is the answer. Why? This is ultimately the question you need to ask yourself. Why do I want to expand, and why is it important? When working with a provider partner, the biggest question we ask is, how many of your patients are talking to other providers? Whether you're servicing a specific line or geographic region, it's possible that many of your patients are being serviced by multiple partners. While the complexity of each provider's journey can vary, we recommend: 4Understanding your market and oppor- tunity: What are my reimbursements in the market today, residual business opportunities, and market size? 4Building your team: Who is your part- ner to help make relationships and navigate the category—supplier connections, market knowledge and minimized expenses. 4Understanding your investment: What is the startup cost—therapist, additional site, reimbursements and equipment? 4Initiating a plan of attack: What's the plan to go after this market—salesforces, market- ing and commercial plans? 4Checking and adjusting: What does win- ning look like—determine key performance indicators (KPIs). Your success or failure is based on your plan, resources and team. Choosing the right partner that is experienced in category expan- sion can help you navigate this process is the key to success. HME Rob Schlissberg is vice president and general man- ager, Independence Medical & Home Healthcare Solutions at Cardinal Health. Reach him at Rob. Schlissberg@indemed.com. AAHomecare is proud to provide advocacy and lobbying efforts to represent home medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders in our industry in Washington, D.C. Our efforts include engaging Congress, federal agencies, and state Medicaid authorities to support sustainable reimbursement rates and rein in unnecessary regulations. Why Join? • Together We Speak with One Voice on Capitol Hill • Opportunity to guide policy initiatives and have input on legislative priorities • Access to key industry data and experts in the HME fi eld We Help Your Business Succeed 241 18th St. South, Suite 500 | Arlington, VA 22202 202.372.0107 | aahomecare.org/membership ANALYSES NEWS SUPPORT

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