HME News

FEB 2019

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 / february 2019 / hme news Succe SS ion planning out S ourcing Set expectations for success By Joey Graham Q. How can HM e providers improve their business through outsourcing? a . It is a new year! Is it also time for a new business strategy? The HME News Financial Benchmark- ing Survey, released in Q4 2018, suggests that HME providers still see outsourcing as a viable business strategy. Collections, billing and compliance have especially seen significant growth over the last two years. Still, you may be asking, "Why out- sourcing and why now?" Business process outsourcing (BPO) allows you to focus on what really mat- ters to your business—patient care and referral sources—by reducing or elimi- nating large departments such as billing, collections and deliveries. Many providers turn to outsourcing as a business strategy to scale their business and grow their revenues without neces- sarily growing headcount. If you are struggling to lower costs; build a quality, yet cost-effective team; or implement more efficient processes, BPO may be right for you. Outsourcing also provides better vis- ibility into your processes, better tools, and better resources for your business. Outsourcing, however, is not a magic bullet. You and your provider need to develop a partnership built on trust, give-and- take, and substantial time and energy. You will get out of outsourcing what you put into it. Your team, for instance, must trust yet verify your partner's work. Is its quality at the highest level? I s i t s r e p o r t i n g a c c u r a t e a n d insightful? Setting up regular, standing meetings and watching the correct datapoints help to ensure that both parties are on the right track. Setting these expectations will set up your business and your BPO partnership for success. hme Joey Graham is the executive vice president and general manager at Prochant, Inc. Reach him at joeyg@prochant.com and (980) 201-3082. Q. How do i create the most engaging content for social media? a . Social media has become one of the most engaging entertainment platforms, second only to TV. The average person spends two hours on social media daily and wants to consume media. Each platform has a unique value proposition: Facebook—connection and community; Instagram—vivid imagery and video; and LinkedIn—networking pro- fessionals, to name a few. While the grow- ing list can seem daunting to new or even seasoned marketers, the following tips span the social media spheres and can be used interchangeably on any platform you wish to engage an audience. u tilize pictures and video In HME, it is critical to show people using your product. Much of the customer knowl- edge gathering revolves around "Is this prod- uct worth my money/effort to reimburse?" and "Will this product work for me?" Using intentional picture and video, your product can be shown around people to provide con- text and functionality. Also, creating rich pic- ture and video content can increase engage- ment such as likes and shares by 87% and 35%, respectively. r espond to engagement The best way to think about social media is as a telephone direct to your customers. The quicker you respond to their questions, the quicker you can convert a prospective customer to a consumer. Also, with exist- ing consumers, answering a complaint can increase brand loyalty by 25% while going unanswered can reduce loyalty by 50%. t ell stories while selling product Many businesses fear that they don't have enough content to start or maximize on social media. Consider telling the story of your brand, your people, your product, and most importantly, the people that you serve, your customers. Creating an engaging platform where users provide feedback and testimoni- als is the essence of brand presence on social media. User-provided testimonials provide great engagement results as it's from people "like" those searching for your product. hme Scott Stone is president of Community Conscious Consulting. Reach him at scott.marshall.stone@ gmail.com. Marketing a ccreditation i dentify future leaders By m iriam Lie B er Q. i f i asked one of your core employees if you have a succession plan, what would they say? a . If you asked the leaders about their HME company's succession plan, they would likely say they don't have one and don't know exactly what a succession plan entails. A succession plan can be defined as a strategy for finding the next group of company leaders. When employees leave, the business must be prepared to move on. Identifying and training the future leaders is the key to a succession strategy. c ore group With that definition in mind, how should you create your own plan? First, examine the operation, looking for what you'd need if the chief executive was gone tomorrow. The key is to find the core group of staff that holds the company together. Exam- ine each department for that core group. It is not always who you'd expect. I often come across a diamond in the rough and they make great key employees. p otential leaders With your core employees found, next identify potential leaders. Stay focused on those with skills required for higher posi- tions. Do they exhibit behaviors that moti- vate other employees? Do they teach those below them? Additionally, look around for other signs of potential leadership. For example, encourage an employee who takes initiative to speak up about an issue and offer a solution. Watch employ- ees who help others in day-to-day work and look for those who naturally become the go-to people in a department. That is the behavior of a leader who should be offered additional training or mentorship to determine if they are up to the task. As I travel around the country con- sulting with HME companies of all sizes, and as I coach leaders remotely, I have learned that you are only as good as the next leader you develop. Focus on this to set benchmarks for their growth and, hopefully, one or more will be part of the succession plan. hme Miriam Lieber is president of Lieber Consulting LLC. Reach her at Miriam@lieberconsulting. com. p lan carefully to avoid pitfalls By Ke LL y Wo L fe Q. Will adding new lines of business affect my accreditation? a . 2019 is a big year for the HME indus- try when it comes to accreditation renew- als and adding product categories to your line of business. Many providers are considering add- ing new lines of business since the lifting of competitive bidding until January of 2021. Please make sure and be aware that any item you decide to provide needs to be updated with not only your accredit- ing body but the National Supplier Clear- inghouse, as well. If you are in a state that has licensure, you may need to do the change of information with them, as well. It is imperative that you carefully plan for this change as it takes time. Not updating this information could get a provider in hot water. Although Medi- care might pay you for that item, you would be breaking a supplier standard and could face recoupments or worse. Each AO has different requirements and timeframes. Some items can be added on easily, while others could require another inspection. My suggestion is putting someone on your staff in charge of the process or work with a consulting company. Here are the steps to put in place: 4 Contact your accreditation organi- zation to find out what they require for each product you would like to add on. Most have helpful online tools and appli- cations on their website. 4 Update your policies to make sure all items you are providing have systems and policies in place to comply with all standards. 4 Check with your state to see if they require a change of information. 4 Once your new accreditation cer- tificate is received, do your change with the NSC. This can be done online with PECOS. Following these steps will keep you in compliance and allow you to grow and thrive in 2019. hme Kelly Wolfe is president of Regency Billing and Consulting. Reach her at kellyw@regency4d- me.com. could recreate a mini-expo on their set. They used the Abilities Expo's logo and signage and even the piping and drape that you'd see on their booths. It was scaled down, but their attention to detail was spectacular. hme : It says a lot about the role of the Abilities Expo in the disability community that Speechless used it as a vehicle for Driver's clothing line. Wells: Speechless gave a tip of the hat to the expo and the absolute need for programs like this in the community we serve. hme : How was Cure Medical selected as one of the mock exhibitors? Wells: It wasn't easy. We had to send in info about our company and booth pictures. That had to be reviewed by set producers and designers to see if it had the right look and feel. It also went through ABC legal to make sure there were no issues with self-promotion. It was a multi-step process. But when you have this kind of opportunity—about 3 million people watch this show every Friday—you move fast and take advan- tage of it. hme : What was filming like? Wells: We filmed 23 hours in two days, 13 hours the first day and 10 hours the next day, and that was just the first half of the episode. They had three more days of filming. They say the magic you see on screen—there's a lot that hap- pens behind the scenes to make that happen. You have no idea until you shoot one scene 15 times. It really is an art. And we don't know what scenes made it through the editing booth. We'll be just as surprised as everyone else on Feb. 1. h m e : Yo u h a d m e t M i c a h before, right? Wells: Yes, he did an autograph signing at the Abilities Expo in New York two years ago. They greatly underestimated his star power—1,000 people showed up for a 40-minute autograph signing. They pulled me from our booth to help with crowd control, and I went home battered and bruised. hme : Did you meet any of the other stars of the show? Wells: Extras aren't encour- aged to talk directly to stars d u r i n g f i l m i n g , b e c a u s e they're trying to focus on their lines with a lot of chaos happening behind them. We had more than 100 extras, plus more than 100 crew- members, on set at all times surrounding the six main characters. But they were all there and very professional and nice, especially Minnie Driver, who was clearly the star and the leader of the group. hm e TV show recrea T es abili T ies expo c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 3 Speechless gave a tip of the hat to the expo and the absolute need for programs like this in the community we serve. c reate engaging platform By Scott S tone

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