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Breaking Out of the Equipment Rental Box: Strategies to Monetize Data

Posted on in Business Operations

By Dave Lyman, RRT, Vice President, VGM Respiratory

Currently you have the strongest relationship to home respiratory patients – more than any home health, physical therapy, outpatient pulmonary practice, or even PCP. Your access into a patient’s home gives you unique insight into their ability to conduct activities of daily living, manage symptoms, and their degree of self-management skills. You’re in the best position to see the patient’s capabilities and opportunities to improve function at home.

However, as with anything worth doing, breaking out of the equipment rental box isn’t easy. You’ll need some serious self-reflection and, of course, lots of data. What information is available to you? How do you collect it? Who can review and analyze the data? Answering these questions is the easy part. But, leveraging that data and transitioning it into actions that create value for you and your referrals (i.e., monetizing) – that requires a new mindset.

Below, I’ve outlined three critical strategies you can use to help shift your perspective and convert data to dollars:

  1. Go digital

    Are your clinical setups and follow-up visits on paper? While the protocol is essential to achieve clinical respiratory service (CRS) accreditation, a paper process makes it difficult to standardize evaluation protocols, understand patient trends, measure respiratory therapist (RT) visit productivity, and assure policy compliance in case of an audit. That’s why – step 1 is to implement software to electronically record equipment settings, physician prescription data, hospitalization/discharge history, and coverage qualifications.

  2. See the whole patient – not the narrow view of their equipment usage

    Reducing readmissions and improving the patient’s functional capabilities is a challenge that goes far, far beyond the hours in which they use a device. Promoting activity and managing clinical symptoms, medication best practices, and self-management competencies will transition your patient care program from a manufacturer’s perspective of the patient’s interaction with the equipment to a patient-centered perspective of how they’re managing every facet of their disease. Patient-centered metrics are what the physician is managing, and a partnership depends on you “owning” the patient at home. Patient assessment data, a goal-oriented plan of care, comorbidity screens, and additional diagnostics are requirements of home respiratory software. So, step 2 – establish yourself as a preferred “center of excellence” provider by moving beyond equipment data and into patient outcome software.

  3. Translate patient data into physician billable reports and the ability to reconnect the patient care gaps into appropriate hospital outpatient services

As hospitals invest in marketing to attract more patient volume from their competitors and referrals (PCPs, payers), aligning a respiratory “center of excellence” post-acute program with the hospital system drives market share and increases revenues from their outpatient services network. Population health-focused software can configure data the physician requires for transition of care incentives, follow-up services, and position the system as an “easy button” for payers or PCPs to refer their patients into. Step 3 – convert respiratory clinical excellence into fee for service partnerships where the post-acute provider drives revenues back to the hospital system and contracts with payers to manage their respiratory population on a per-patient, per-month basis.

Breaking out of the equipment rental box requires a major strategic commitment to invest in converting today’s data and clinical activities into meaningful outcomes and revenues to your key referrals. Understanding how to position that strategy, defining actual financial returns to referrals, and offering the software to innovate the clinical management of the patient is what VGM partner Encore Healthcare and its Nexus Software can do for your business. Contact VGM for a personalized webinar to learn how you can innovate your strategy and restore growth.