A report by SHRM says that talent acquisition is the top problem for many HR practitioners in the healthcare industry. Other pressing concerns include employee burnout, the need for consistent retraining, and evolving state laws and licensing requirements.
This is further aggravated by the responsibilities of the average DME/HME business founder and operator. Their tasks include meeting patient requirements while also ensuring completion of registrations and documentation related to order processing. The multitasking required leaves DMEs and HMEs with little time for business building activities or the pursuit of new business and clients.
The staffing challenge faced by DMEs/HMEs
For DME/HME small businesses and startups, human resources may translate into expensive skilled staff or employees trained on the job at measurable expense to the business. This trained staff may not be too expensive to employ on a full-time and sustained basis, especially in time of a crisis. Small businesses typically operate with less than two weeks’ cash reserves. They may not have the means to hire new personnel or train incumbents at short notice. Meanwhile, the business bookkeeping and accounting suffers.
Training employees on insurance, software, claim processing and related tasks takes around 90-120 days on an average. On-the-job training for the purpose of intake, eligibility, pre-authorization, supporting paper work, record keeping and maintaining efficient accounting and bookkeeping can be expensive to the business, in terms of both time and money.
Lack of trained employees and the effect on the bottom line
Healthcare professionals who manage their own DME/HME may need to work doubly hard to ensure they are contributing to business sustainability while ensuring patient welfare. For founders and operators, the need to ensure high quality health care could directly threaten the business itself.
The COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the dilemma faced by recovering DME/HME with accompanying furloughs and large-scale layoffs. Regaining trained and skilled staff to begin operations and reach pre-COVID-19 sustainability levels can be challenging.
On the other hand, we cannot overlook the role played by skilled staff in ensuring DME/HME sustainability. Trained employees serve as business assets: they go beyond the healthcare aspect of the business, making significant contributions to smooth operations.
The employee turnover cycle: impact on business bottom line
For a startup or a small DME/HME, acquiring trained resources to work patient details can create a challenge. Financial capabilities are limited; they may invest in training resources, but financial constraints may lead to employee turnover, thus rendering any investment in human resource ineffective.
Moreover, after training when employees go for a vacation or leave for a better paying job, with no immediate trained personnel in place, the job holds behind. This can further impact and deplete business finances and demands time investment again.
Breaking the cycle
Outsourcing can prove to be an effective way to break the cycle of hire – train – cope with attrition – hire. Outsourcing medical billing provides direct access to infrastructure and resources that a startup or small DME/HME can access without worrying about employee attrition or new hires. The outsourcing partner takes care of the work force personnel and their online training and updating, thus relieving your medical billing business from the stress of hiring and training the staff every time. This saves the medical billing business a lot of time and money invested in hiring and training the staff as the burden is taken over by the outsourcing partner. The reliability provided by an outsourced partner is further reinforced with additional benefits, such as cost effectiveness and watertight data recording, access, and security.