The HME industry is beginning to embrace the modern office—using technology to solve inefficiencies in the front and back office. However, many providers are still intimidated by the idea, even though new technology like automation has been found to help alleviate staffing turnover, onboarding struggles, and billing errors.
To find out how providers can evaluate their technological abilities and what areas need improvement, we turned to Joey Graham, Prochant’s Chief Revenue Officer and a well-rounded HME industry expert.
Evaluating Your Company’s Technological Abilities
Even if an HME provider wants to upgrade their office systems with new technology, is it always possible? If you’re new to the idea, where do you start?
“I’d recommend HME providers start off by evaluating their RCM workflow and systems simultaneously,” Joey said.
Doing this helps providers better understand how their workflow and systems interact with each other. A good area to evaluate would be the interaction between your documentation process (i.e. when you acquire medical records from physicians) and your fax/eReferral system.
“Manual faxes sit on the most inefficient side of the spectrum, since employees have to leave their work station to grab documents from fax machines or printers in order to complete their work. On the opposite side of the spectrum, HME providers will utilize a referral pipeline that’s open between them and their referral sources. Every order contains the necessary medical records.”
By going through each individual order and examining the interactions between your systems, the effectiveness of the technology you have can be determined by its ability to support a streamlined workflow.
Key Areas for Improvement
“Data entry, prior authorization management, and automated denial resolution are just a few processes that are currently ripe for improvement. At Prochant, we believe the future of the healthcare revenue cycle will include substantial amounts of automation,” Joey said.
Providers who hop on board with the latest technology will begin to see a welcomed change in the role of their employees. From managing all the work to only managing the outliers, providers will be able to leave the majority of front and back office processing to bots and various AI-enabled, automated systems. Overall, this will save time and revenue.
Using Technology in Other Areas
Outside of the revenue cycle, there are a few other areas where better technology has drastically improved an HME provider’s business. Joey highlighted some areas:
1) Automated Inventory Tracking: This is technology that’s used to eliminate barcode scanners and manual physical inventory counts by utilizing technology that runs in the background, like RFID and Bluetooth. “The process consists of waving a wand across the shelves in your warehouse, so the system can complete your physical inventory counts automatically. The practice can also be used to know exactly which serial numbers are currently in a specific delivery van. This tech helps HME providers be as up-to-date as possible on their inventory.”
2) Patient App: An app or website that allows patients to pay their medical bills, order/reorder new equipment or supplies, track deliveries, and communicate with customer service. This kind of technology allows providers to improve communication with patients.
What do most HME providers want from technology?
The answer is simple: Lower costs, improved performances, and to feel confident that their data is secure.
“Prochant has started concentrating on these exact areas,” Joey explained. “We use automation to bring down cost, while simultaneously reducing the number of human errors that occur. We’ve also gone above and beyond to ensure our technology is safe and secure by heavily investing in HIPAA’s gold-standard certification, HITRUST.”
To compete in a growing industry with struggles like high turnover and reduced reimbursement, it's only going to become more important for providers to implement the latest technology. The more comfortable you feel about modernizing your office, the better equipped you will be to handle whatever problems come in the future.
To learn more about workflow solutions for HME providers, you can visit our five-solution guide here.
With any questions or to hear about Prochant’s solutions, contact us here.
Prochant has a proven track record of helping HME and pharmacy providers meet their financial goals. Our scalable solutions, years of experience, and advanced technology provide best-in-class results to the healthcare community. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, our client base includes national pharmacy and HME providers and health systems.