HME News

MAY 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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Business Development 18 www.hmenews.com / may 2018 / hme news Billing systems: Look beyond claims, invoices Category Billing systems By John Andrews, Contributing e ditor E verything in an h M e business is connected, so having an it system that gives providers a panoramic view of their operation makes more sense than having siloed systems designated for specific departments, proponents say. g iven the advanced functionality of mod- ern technology and the affordability of cloud computing, even the smallest companies can afford to have a multi-functional, enterprise- wide system. Automating functions across the board is a bona fide upgrade from the hybrid manual-electronic processes that exist in h M e companies, says t ed Jones, president and C e O of Fresno, Calif.-based BFlow. " i 've worked in fast-paced hospital environ- ments with energized staff and infrastructure and h M e is overlooked and underserved," he said. "What i 've seen in the h M e environ- ment is binders everywhere, which is a sign of distracted workflow. By going to full auto- mation, providers have a binder-less system that offers a real-time, in-depth view of what is going on with their business." Jones' analysis revealed that manual pro- cesses for claims management entail 44 steps from intake to adjudication. t hat process relies heavily on the biller's memory, he said. Business management—commonly referred to as business intelligence—is a plat- form that covers more than just billing func- tionality. i t encompasses collections, purchas- ing, accounts payable and human resources, tying all the processes together, said e sther Apter, president of Suffern, n . y .-based Med- force t echnologies. "Automation equals efficiencies—that is a simple equation," she said. " t he most inef- ficient part of any process tends to be in the handoffs of work from one person to another or from one department to another. A process manager that interacts with all provider sys- tems and automates the handoffs creates a significant noticeable increase in efficiencies." t he benefits to choosing a system that offers front-to-back business management are transparency, ease of use, and often some cost savings, said Chris Dobiesz, president of Davison, Mich.-based Universal Software Solutions. " i f a provider is using a billing system that also has customer service and inventory com- ponents that they rely on, then they should H o LIS t IC VI e W ■ Beyond billing: Today's IT systems have the functionality to manage all aspects of an HME company, offering a 360-degree view of the business. An integrated system allows management to identify key performance indicators and base decisions on performance data. SIMPLIF y IN g S te PS ■ Cutting redundancies: Manually processing claims takes approximately 44 steps from intake to adjudication. By eliminating the need to rely on each biller's memory, an automated system will greatly streamline the process. a B etter e XP er I e NC e ■ A distinct advantage: With visibility into the entire operation, HME providers can better understand service performance, which can be advantageous in boosting the patient and referral source experience. continue to invest in that solution as it is enhanced and expanded," he said. " t he big- gest mistake we see providers make is repeat- ed unwillingness to break apart an existing business process to rebuild it using newer, more efficient workflows or tools that have been developed in their software." t o be sure, many h M e providers have "a spider web of information systems" that are utilized across their business, said Joey g ra- ham, vice president of operations for Char- lotte, n .C.-based Prochant. " t he more integration providers can estab- lish across these systems, the more they are able to streamline processes and ensure data accuracy," he said. "One major, current exam- ple is the integration of document manage- ment systems with front-office workflow sys- tems. t his allows providers to track a virtual 'chart' throughout the intake process through fulfillment and on to billing and collections." While B i is a common and powerful tool, it can also be easily constrained by data scat- tered across multiple systems, said Patty h arrison, h M e content creator for Billings, Mont.-based Computers Unlimited. B i l l i n g s y s T E M s s E E p A g E 2 2 May 23 - 24, 2018 Washington, DC Washington Legislative Conference Issue Education Your attendance strengthens HME's voice on Capitol Hill! aahomecare.org/wlc Industry Connections Capitol Hill Appointments May 23 7:30-9:30 am Continental Breakfast 12 noon Lunch & Keynote Address 1:00-5:00 pm Issue Education & Capitol Hill Meetings 6:00 pm PAC Reception May 24 7:30-9:30 am Breakfast & Retrieve Materials for Hill Meetings 9:30 am-4:30 pm Capitol Hill Meetings 5:00-6:30 pm Capitol Hill Reception Schedule At A GlAnce AAHomecare's Washington Legislative Conference will once again build on momentum, seek permanent solutions for competitive bidding, reimbursement for HME, educate legislators on the effects of CMS double dipping on oxygen payments, and build on Congressional relationships.

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