Technology and Consumers' Roles in the Future of HME Operations

Posted on in Growth Strategies

By: Miriam Lieber, president, Lieber Consulting LLC.

Today’s commonly used statistic that 11,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day teaches us that the HME industry is going to flourish now and in the future. HME providers should be poised to handle more of this new aging population.

Precisely what this population’s needs are remains to be seen because many are healthy and agile. Nonetheless, knowing the 65-and-over population is projected to nearly double over the next three decades, how should the HME provider prepare? It means that HME providers should focus on building their self-pay offerings, while staying nimble as the business model changes moving forward. Further, as consumers foot more of the overall health care bill with high deductibles (mine is $5,750, for example) and less coverage, they will want to understand for what they are paying. This is the inherent role of the HME provider.

Finally, as the overall health care insurance spend will be based predominantly on value rather than volume through vehicles such as pay-for-performance (P4P), the HME provider will be instrumental in proving their part in the value of keeping the patient at home. To ensure the HME patient’s positive outcomes perception, satisfaction surveys scoring patient experience will be a part of the process. On the financial side, the HME provider should invest in automated private pay collection tools and programs (such as auto-pay portals) to ensure maximum collection from the customers as private/self-pay revenue percentages will continue to grow.

Although automation tools will be necessary to collect the self-pay dollars, HME providers should also follow technology solutions for use with outcomes, adherence and more as advancements will emerge in the near future. Expect predictive technology solutions to inform the HME provider what type of devices and supplies patients/consumers will need. This type of individualized care plan will launch the HME provider’s role in meeting the patient’s health care needs.

All of these technological advancements will help the HME provider both internally and externally to secure business and to operate at optimal efficiency. Reporting for internal efficiencies and as proving value will drive performance and profitability. For today, it is time to begin educating the consumer on their part in their own health care, while also implementing goals against which to measure outcomes for maximum operational control.

Connect with Miriam at VGM Heartland

Get the scoop on private pay revenue and operational musts by attending Miriam’s presentations at Heartland Conference 2016: Private Pay Revenue and A/R - The Real Deal plus Automation, Technology and Reporting: 3 Operational Musts for Survival.

About Miriam Lieber

Miriam Lieber, president of Lieber Consulting LLC, is an independent consultant and trainer with more than 20 years in the home care field. She specializes in operations management and compliance for home care providers. Miriam’s consulting practice also includes Medicare and other third-party payers, investment firms, hospitals, pharmacies and manufacturers. She takes practical approaches to complex reimbursement/compliance matters and assists clients with the nuts and bolts of running a profitable business. Miriam has written many articles about operations and accounts receivable management, pending regulations and compliance. She is a nationally known speaker for many home care trade associations.