Accreditation: Software Companies Can Be Intregral Part of the Process

For providers involved in the first wave of competitive bidding who were down to the wire on the Aug. 31 deadline for accreditation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) granted a two-month reprieve by extending the deadline to Oct. 31. Many providers outside of the first wave of competitive bidding are getting a jump start on the accreditation process in order to be able to bill Medicare down the road.

Software companies in the HME industry offer programs and services that can help providers through the accreditation process and can help them meet quality standards in their business practices.

Home Health Productsasked software companies to tell us how they can help. For more extensive information on how software companies can help providers with the accreditation process, see the September edition of Home Health Products' magazine. Here's what software companies had to say:

    Spencer Kay, president, Fastrack Healthcare Systems Inc.

"Accreditation for HME providers is essential today in order to compete effectively in the home care market. From a patient safety standpoint, Fastrack supports accreditation for HME providers specifically in the technology that we utilize and leverage in the development of our software. The ability to accurately track equipment history, maintenance and settings, as well as education for patients and their families is essential to understanding that equipment's efficiency in the administration of various therapies. In order to adequately understand the life performance of a piece of equipment and whether it is safe and effective for patient care, bar coding, wireless inventory tracking and delivery confirmation, providing for real-time information on these pieces of equipment is essential. This is important not only to patient care and safety, but to the health and growth of the business overall."

    Jay Williams, National Sales Manager, QS/1

"Accreditation helps you better understand and operate your business more efficiently. To that end, accreditation includes helping HME businesses to better manage their inventory and their accounts receivable. Accreditation will also push HME businesses to utilize the HME software for more than just a billing program to get claims paid. HME businesses will want to automate as many features as possible. To that end, QS/1 upgraded our existing HME POS program. It can handle cash, check, credit and debit card sales and automatically relieve their HME inventory quantities. In addition, we added an integrated Document Imaging Module. For less money than the two online document imaging system will charge you in three to five months, you can purchase our integrated Document Imaging Module. This module allows you to scan documents directly to the carrier, doctor, item patient and order/claim records. QS/1 is planning on addressing three other major areas in 2006 to assist HME businesses with increasing their automation. First is the area of a shipping interface with UPS, FedEx, etc. Second is the need to have integrated general ledger, accounts payable and payroll. The third area will deal with improved automation utilizing bar coding for receiving, deliveries and inventory counts utilizing a PDA or possibly even a tablet PC."

    Bently C. Goodwin, CEO & Founder, RemitDATA Inc.

"Continuing Quality Improvement (CQI) is a big part of the accreditation process. RemitDATA provides tools that allow providers to monitor reimbursement performance and implement a continuous quality improvement process around the reimbursement function. The tools allow not only internal benchmarking, but industry benchmarking as well. Additionally, RemitDATA provides productivity tools that allow for process improvement by reducing the time necessary for following up on denials and processing secondary invoices. All of this taken together empowers a provider to reduce denial rates, reduce total time spent on reimbursement and accelerate cash flow."

    Computer Applications Unlimited (CAU, Brian Williams, director of sales and marketing

There's never been a more critical time for providers to operate at peak efficiency. CAU has always been about helping providers to automate more, to receive accurate reimbursement as quickly as possible, and to report on the results.

Our Solution/One HME has spawned new tools for HME providers, including Web-based Solution/One HME and Solution/One HME eBilling-Service. providers have choices to match their current business goals, no matter what their HME specialty, their business size, or where they may be in their business plan.

    DIABCO Medical Billing Systems, Sabine Kutt, marketing manager

The most important way to help providers reduce operating costs and increase productivity, efficiency and functionality is to provide them with time-saving software that lets them do the most high-quality work in the smallest amount of time. Applications have to be jet-fast, powerful and easy to use. Providers must be on the edge of the latest technology, be innovative, and always be dependable. Investments in software systems are an absolute must. Return on investment is related to . . . office efficiency. We hear from providers that they have no time to look at new software products. The point is to start to think differently. The right software will decrease the workload and give you time to be flexible and creative.

    Noble House, Richard Basch, director of marketing

Today's HME environment is highly competitive and tightly regulated. Noble House offers the latest and most efficient methods of processing claims and managing information for the HME industry. Our software is Windows-based, utilizes an open-database-connectivity-compliant database and can integrate with other ODBC-compliant applications. We have a stand-alone eligibility program that works with many billing systems.

Noble*Direct provides easy to use tools you need; with a single keystroke, all electronically submitted claims transmit to all four Medicare jurisdictions, Medicaid and about 2,000 commercial payers. And you get Instant confirmation of a successful transmission. For those insurance companies that do not accept electronic claims, hard copy CMS 1,500 forms are generated. Noble Direct automatically generates CMS 1,500s for any patient Medicare did not automatically cross over, avoiding having to review ERNs.

    MedFORCE Technologies, Esther Apter, president / CEO

Suppliers are going through one of the most difficult periods the industry has ever faced. We offer a powerful solution that helps drop much needed cash currently wasted on inefficient processes directly to the bottom line.

The MedFORCE system relieves providers of the burden of paper. Increased efficiency creates additional cash flow from operations and reduced DSO, and it frees up human- resource time to create an excess capacity for growth.

This article originally appeared in the July 2007 issue of HME Business.

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