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Resolve to Make 2017 a More Profitable Year

Written by: Kimberly Commito on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 Posted in: HME/DME, Home Infusion, Specialty Pharmacy

2017With a new year nearly upon us, our thoughts naturally turn to the promise of a new beginning and the opportunity to make a fresh start. In our personal lives, many of us are all too eager to resolve to make changes. But what about our businesses? If there is room for improvement in your specialty pharmacy, home infusion, or HME/DME business, now is a great time to set some goals and make change happen.

Here are five areas to consider for your 2017 resolutions.

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1. Increase productivity: If you and your staff can work smarter and increase your output just a little each day, that can add up. One easy way to work smarter is to automate your processes as much as possible and rely on technology tools to help you prevent errors before they happen. For example, with today’s mobile devices and software designed specifically for your business, you can improve efficiency by accessing your system from any location. You can update patient information and capture electronic signatures, and your delivery drivers can utilize real-time mapping tools to create the most efficient routes. You can even provide confirmation of receipt by patients from the field, enabling your reimbursement staff to immediately start the billing process and increase cash flow.

2. Optimize inventory: Inventory is expensive, so you know you have to avoid tying up too much money in product sitting on shelves, yet you want to be able to fill orders in a timely manner. While you’re trying to find the right balance, barcode technology and the ability to scan inventory items with mobile devices can help you stay on top of your supplies, so you always know what you have in stock. And if supplies are running low, you can be alerted to order more, so you never run out. If you have multiple locations, barcoding can also enable you to find exactly what you need and easily transfer it from one location to another.

3. Build revenue: Obviously, this is an important goal, and by increasing your output and optimizing inventory, you can manage the cost of doing business more effectively and positively increase margins. But you also need to bring in more dollars, and the ways you can do that vary according to your market.

  • HME/DME – Evaluate your competitive bidding situation. If you won bids for 2016, use your system’s reporting tools to assess whether those contracts proved profitable or actually cost you in the long run. If it turns out that Medicare fee-for-service isn’t working for your business, consider your other options. Maybe it’s time to expand the cash side of your business with a website or a more visible retail store front.
  • Home Infusion – Home infusion billing is complex, but getting it right the first time is the key to maximized profits. Use your system’s reporting tools to examine your top therapies for 2016 to determine if any patterns emerge. Were there particular payers that seemed problematic or a particular therapy that was often denied? This information can shed light on which areas to target for improvement. In addition, be sure you are using a software system that flags errors and helps your billing staff submit complete claims, so you can get paid in a timely manner.
  • Specialty Pharmacy – Your ongoing growth in specialty pharmacy depends on your continued access to limited drug networks and payer contracts, so be sure you never fail to provide the data and documentation required. You can do this by auto-scheduling your reports, so, once set up, they run and send automatically, and you never miss a deadline. You can also use “bill before you fill” technology to ensure that you understand your level of reimbursement prior to shipping. Another key to expanding your market could be accreditation—which some payers and drug manufacturers require. If your specialty pharmacy has achieved accreditation, make 2017 the year to cross that off your list, because, most likely, it will open new doors for your business.

4. Monitor trends: If you don’t examine your metrics at least every month, resolve to begin doing so. This way, you can always be aware of every aspect of your business’ performance and can quickly adjust to or address issues. Use your software system’s business intelligence reporting tools to monitor these and other metrics:

  • Staff performance – Evaluate output, time to complete tasks, billing errors, etc. Reward the star performers, and provide relevant training to those who may need assistance.
  • Claim denials – Look for patterns in denials, so you can spot common errors or missing documentation and take steps to correct problems before they become serious issues.
  • Revenue by product or therapy type – Keep an eye on the products or therapies that are the most profitable and those that are least profitable. Consider investing less time and resources, or cutting altogether, those that are underperforming and think about ways to maximize those with greatest revenue potential.
  • Revenue by payer – Know which payers return the most profits and which aren’t paying off. Use this information to guide your decision making as you move forward.

5.Attend industry events and user groups: Despite that you are busy managing your business and possibly even caring for patients, set some time aside during 2017 to network and learn about the latest issues affecting your industry. Invest in your staff as well, to attend, for education on the industry and effective use of your software solutions.  If you are open to new ideas, these events may be valuable opportunities to learn from those who have faced similar challenges.

Although 25% of resolution-makers give up after just one week according to data from the University of Scranton, your specialty pharmacy, home infusion, and HME/DME businesses can achieve your 2017 goals with CareTend. This next-generation software platform from Mediware has all the tools you need to succeed. Click here to learn more.

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