HME News

JUL 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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Page 11 of 24

Smart Talk hme news / july 2018 / 11 M & a patient collections l ock it down like Fort Knox By Jennife R l eon Q. You've decided to implement a 'card on file' program. What should you do next? a . There are four simple steps. s elect a p ayment v endor Don't skip to last chapter By Jonathan s ado C k Q. What is exit planning and how do i explore the strategic options for my HM e business? a . Just as you make many impor- tant decisions to start, build and grow your business, it is vitally important that you properly pre- pare and plan your eventual exit or business succession. Just as you wouldn't read only the last chapter in a book, you need to read all the chapters leading up to your exit. This process starts with building a living dashboard on your busi- ness performance. This includes tracking and monitoring key metrics on a monthly basis and understanding regulatory issues and market fluctuations specific to your specific niche. The met- rics may include the obvious P&L analysis and balance sheets along with reimbursement by product line and payer. Employee perfor- mance metrics are also an impor- tant aspect that should not be ignored. Once you have gathered the essential data, engaging with a market professional or advisory will help you to benchmark valu- ation. There are many factors that impact valuation and it is impor- tant to anticipate hurdles and deal with them proactively. Strategic options come in many forms and flavors, ranging from an outright sale to a recapitalization of the business. For HME companies, sometimes a merger of equals can substantially scale and produce a stronger, more valuable business. With your valuation benchmark in hand and an understanding of the various types of transactions you may pursue, it's time for a little soul searching and goal set- ting. Most transactions perform best when the business is not in distress. By monitoring these key metrics and market valuation, you can weigh your goals with the cur- rent market and when the time is right, execute a well-planned and successful transaction. hme Jonathan Sadock is managing partner at Paragon Ventures. Reach him at jsa- that h olds the hI ghest pc I dss c ert I f I cat I on First and foremost, you want to make sure your vendor has a strict set of security requirements in place for the management and protection of cardholders' private information and other payment processing related activity. u pdate Internal p rocedures Surely your staff is not photo- copying card information, sav- ing it in an Outlook task item or writing it down—are they? If you answered yes to any of that, stop! Update internal pro- cesses and procedures to lock that information down like Fort Knox in a secure environment and most importantly, change your staff behaviors and expec- tations. That outdated way is no longer the way. s et e qu I pment s tandards Begin to set standards like whether or not automatic pay- ment should be mandatory for certain types of equipment, or which patients may be best suit- ed for an automatic payment plan. Provide employees with clear guidelines and scripts that will assist in patient communica- tion regarding financial respon- sibility. t ra I n s taff Some of these changes might seem easy to implement, but remem- ber that even small changes can have a significant effect on staff. Provide employees step-by-step directions to help them feel confi- dent when engaging patients. The last thing you want is uneducated staff; training will ensure the best possible practices are being used going forward. hme Jennifer Leon is vice president, patient collections, at Brightree. Reach her at

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