Boosting Business Prospects for Your DME/HME

by | October 26, 2021 | 8:49 am
Boosting Business Prospects for Your DME/HME

A DME/HME business provides much-needed, often critical, support to patients in need of prescription equipment. For DME/HME business owners and operators to ensure sustainability, it is important to focus on different ways in which to grow the business as well, so it can continue to deliver health care needs.

The Real Challenge: Understanding DME/HME Growth

How do you approach your DME business? Here are some answers to this recurring question, especially for passionate and driven owners, founders, and operators of businesses that provide medical equipment.

  • Focusing on delivering DME needs of patients
  • Ensuring communication with patients is thorough and they understand how to use their equipment to further their wellness journey
  • Focusing on providing any support they may need, as part of their usage of the equipment your firm has leased or sold to patients

If you relate to any of the above responses, you need to also focus on the fact that your DME/HME is a firm that provides health care to patients, and needs as much attention as any other business to continue serving its goal.

DME growth factors can be complex and need to be understood after a thorough review of the unique needs of the DME/HME operations.

Planning and Execution: The need to build growth plans into your DME/HME business

To function properly, your DME must build a business plan that encompasses an assessment of growth and detailed execution processes. Understanding planning and execution is central to successful DME growth. Here are some key areas that need attention to boost the growth prospects of your business:

Improving order taking: This is the first step towards ensuring smooth operations. However, order taking is a complex process in DME operations and recording patient details, which is a significant part of DME billing, can often be neglected.

The challenge: DME staff may be flooded with orders, prompting them to skip due diligence when recording patient information and documenting medical details. If the recording is done on paper, in a rush, these paper records are vulnerable to getting lost or misplaced or worse, destroyed.

Streamlining RCM: Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is key to DME/HME billing. Because DME/HME businesses carry out transactions largely through documented patient details, medical prescriptions, doctor’s authorization, and notes by health care providers are coveted records and must be logged properly to help the RCM process billing and continue towards eventual collection.

The challenge: DME staff needs time to be trained in RCM. RCM training requires investment of capital. However, in the case of consistently high volumes of orders, staff can quickly get overwhelmed with work, face burnout, and quit. This can add attrition to challenges the business may already be facing.

Researching insurance and details such as prior authorization: Because DME/HME businesses get paid through reimbursements, they need to research the information provided by patients, including insurance details. Some insurance providers need prior authorization or pre-authorization for certain equipment, while in some cases, there is insufficient information because there is a chance the patient has neglected to update vital details in the case of a change in policy parameters.

The challenge: On top of the challenge of dependable storage of patient data and records, is the need for thorough research. Research is key to claim application filing; incomplete or insufficient or incorrect data can lead to delayed or even denied claims. The higher the volume of delayed claims, the higher the negative impact on the DME/HME firm.

Building the business: Most businesses need to pay attention to basics, including data and information recording, storage, and access. There are various levels to business operations, including the need to apply for investment and access to information in the case of applying for audits and quality certifications, etc.

The challenge: The DME/HME needs to take time to assess and review the business and the actual capabilities, including financial and operational strength.

Building revenue channels; strengthening existing ones: Most businesses need to consistently work on building value for existing clients while also pursuing new revenue channels. For DME/HME businesses, growing the business requires investment of time and attention into building productive and trusting relationships with existing and prospective clients.

The challenge: It can be difficult for businesses to pay attention to both back-end work such as recording, researching, and managing patient documents, as well as preparing and pursuing new business opportunities. Both are equally important and need attention.

Why medical billing assistance is vital

Medical billing is a complex process. However, most DME/HME businesses need reliable records and accuracy of data to process claims and get paid, especially in the case of insurance-backed reimbursements.

One way in which to do this effectively is to outsource medical billing to professionals, such as through a DME partnership, especially those with availability of strong technology. A good provider of outsourced services brings multiple benefits:

  • Allowing business founders and operators freedom from the hassles of hiring, expensive and time-intensive training, and attrition or loss of staff
  • Allowing businesses to extend value to existing business without worrying about increased volume of work and staff burnout
  • Enabling business owners to invest time and attention in pursuing new business or creating plans for business growth without worrying about neglecting existing clients

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