Products & Technology

Constant Evolution

How the software systems that help HME providers run their businesses are keeping pace with the constantly morphing changes and trends impacting healthcare and the industry.

evolution of softwareBetween dramatic changes in reimbursement policy, shifts in the U.S. healthcare landscape, and the near-constant transformation in how businesses are managed in general, the HME industry has shown that it will evolve with whatever is thrown at it.

One of the key business assets that has helped HME providers roll with those changes, accommodate them, and integrate them into their business strategies are the software tools available to them. The technology providers use to manage their businesses, process claims, interact with patients, and share data with other healthcare providers has evolved to meet market demands.

And as HME’s DNA has improved and adapted like digital DNA, it has developed specialized offshoots to help providers tailor their technological resources for care and business management. Whatever the challenge, “there’s an app for that.”

To help you stay on top of the continually evolving options available to help your business keep pace with change, we’re once again publishing our annual software update. And like last year, we have surveyed a variety of software companies to see the new developments and features they have added to their offerings.

This year, we’ve reviewed systems in these categories:

  • HME Management Systems
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Business Analytics
  • Delivery Management/Route Planning
  • Document Imaging/Management
  • E-Commerce/Digital Marketing
  • E-Prescription

Take a look, and see how HME’s software is morphing to help providers adapt to an ever-changing healthcare, business and funding environment:

HME Management Systems

These are the broad business platforms that offer a wide range of features ranging from billing and claims processing to operations efficiencies to inventory, management, etc. They aim to provide tools that can help HME providers manage most of their business- and patient-oriented processes from a single platform.

BFLOW Businesses Management and Compliance Software

BFLOWBFLOW Solutions Inc.
Bflowsolutions.com
(844) 688-4450
Years company has been in business: 2
Number of installed systems: 300
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Microsoft
Recent Developments: Upgraded to most recent web technologies to make the system device and operating system agnostic. Integrated with credit card processing, resupply, and QuickBooks

Bonafide Medeq Manager

BonafideBonafide Management Systems
www.bonafide.com
(805) 777-7666
Years company has been in business: 37
Number of installed systems: <500
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Front-end: React; Back-end: Java; Database: MS SQL
Recent Developments: Bonafide recently launched a Live Asset Tracking System, which allows medical devices such as ventilators, infusion pumps, monitors, wheelchairs, beds, and other high-value items to be tracked and monitored. Bonafide also launched a Facility Portal, which allows DME Providers to sell to healthcare facilities through an online shopping portal that is directly linked to their back-office billing operations, inventory and delivery systems. Upgrades to our core software include Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality, which allows scanned documents to be searched.

Brightree Software

BrightreeBrightree
www.brightree.com
(888) 598-7797
Years company has been in business: 15
Number of installed systems: 2200 for HME
software customers
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Microsoft .NET, C#, VB.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Recent Developments: Brightree emphasizes that, at their core, its business management software solutions aim to make post-acute providers more efficient and profitable. To that end, it has released new tools for patient engagement, ePrescribe, advanced analytics – plus an AR dashboard for patient collections. The Patient Hub app personalizes the patient experience and increases revenue for providers. The HMEB New Product Award winning ePrescribe solution lets providers connect seamlessly and efficiently with referral sources, and Advanced Analytics gives them insight into business performance and growth opportunities.

CareTend

WellSkyWellSky
wellsky.com
(855) WELLSKY
Years company has been in business: Since 1980
Number of installed systems: Respondent skipped this question
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, or a standalone system that is cloud-based or can be installed on-site.
Technology Used: .Net technology platform, Microsoft SQL database back end
Recent Developments: CareTend’s business intelligence custom reporting tools now allow providers to customize all reports, dashboards, data cubes and exception reports themselves. This lets them create specific dashboards and content for each department of their business, so each department has metrics to track their progress and their goals. All of this data can also be auto-scheduled so it can work without the need for a staff member to send a report each time to the CEO, for example. Rather than force staff to conform to canned reports that are predefined, these custom reporting technologies help providers extract their data from the system and manipulate it and share it in any way they need.

CommandCenter, ContentCenter, RemitCenter, SignCenter, FormsCenter, Faxing

MedforceMedforce Technologies Inc.
www.medforcetech.com
(845) 426-0459
Years company has been in business: 16
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, a hosted, web-based/SAAS system, or a hosted system that uses special client software
Technology Used: Programming languages: Delphi and C# Database environments: Firebird and SQL
Recent Developments: Medforce offers a suite of productivity software modules that aims to reduce waste, improve efficiency and boost HME providers’ bottom lines. While we could have listed them separately as independent software offerings, the company says it wanted to list them under the HME Management System category, because together they function as an overarching management system. The suite consists of CommandCenter, a business process management tool; ContentCenter, a document management tool; RemitCenter, which helps provider examine and manage denials and downsize DSOs; SignCenter, a HIPAA-compliant, web-based electronic signature and data capture tool; and FormsCenter, an electronic data capture tool connect and track your business. In addition, Medforce Apps, are a suite of turnkey workflows for addressing operational challenges, such as fax management, vendor invoice management, A/R management, and overpayment and refund management.

HDMS, StowPoint

Universal Software SolutionsUniversal Software Solutions
www.universalss.com
(810) 653-5000 EXT 321
Years company has been in business: 18
Number of installed systems: 2
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, a hosted, web-based/SAAS system, or a hosted system that uses special client software
Technology Used: Microsoft operating systems using a Microsoft SQL Server backend with a .Net environment.
Recent Developments: Patient Workspace provides a unified, single and simple entry point into all the facts and details of any patient. A user can access everything quickly via a graphical interface and perform all their duties without jumping in and out of different applications. Universal says HDMS Scheduler was created to help DME companies better allocate time and space for patient care that they rely on by their various professionals like orthotists, assistive technology professionals, certified mastectomy fitters, and respiratory therapists. The HDMS Scheduler brings staff and facility calendars together into one application that will significantly reduce the time and effort needed create and manage appointments. HDMS Mobile Driver provides a way to work deliveries paperlessly. Includes a way to record required vehicle checks, inventory transfers to vehicles, provides directions, and allows users to work assigned orders electronically. This includes adding and removing products and services to the order as well as electronically capturing signatures and the details of non-patient individuals signing orders if applicable.

NikoHealth

NikoHealthBBMK Technologies
www.nikohealth.com
(877) 850-8088
Years company has been in business: 9
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: .Net hosted on AWS
Recent Developments: NikoHealth is an end-to-end solution with workflows that have built-in logic to streamline many current HME provider processes. Incorporating an intuitive interface that the company says is designed to offer a gentle learning curve, the system aims to ease onboarding and training. The company reports that its development team is rolling out new features and enhancements on a regular basis and underscores that its customer service includes a dedicated account manager. Rather than take a modular approach, the core platform contains all features and functionality, such as intelligent scheduling, mobile delivery app, custom and mapped forms with e-signature, document management, e-faxing, and inventory management.

Noble*Direct

Noble HouseNoble House
www.nobledirect.com
(800) 749-6700
Years company has been in business: 30 years and counting...
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site
Technology Used: Microsoft SQL
Recent Developments: A few points to consider about Noble*Direct v11: 1. Noble*Direct v11 uses SQL. A scalable database solution. 2. Noble*Direct v11 offers an easy way to add multiple product/service layers when expanding your DMEPOS product lines with multiple physicians, inventory and ICD- 10/9 codes. 3. Electronic Claims Submission to over 2300 private payors. 4. Same or Similar Verification on Medicare beneficiaries to mitigate the risk of providing certain equipment to beneficiaries that have billed/claimed a same or similar CPT code recently. 5. Medicare and Private Eligibility verification. Education, Training, and Support Noble House also offers billing, Consulting & Training/Education to help you learn more about how to bill for the products and services you offer.

System One

QS/1 Data Systems
www.qs1.com
866.925.8356
Years company has been in business: 41
Number of installed systems: 550
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, or a hosted system, but uses special client software
Technology Used: Visual Basic
Recent Developments: The company has recently integrated QDM into its SystemOne software. QDM is a document management system that allows providers to eliminate the paperwork and create their own forms and documents as well as use cloud faxing from within the system. QS/1 also made a few changes to allow HME businesses to check out invoices through the Point of Sale and download them into the system’s DeliveryRx app.

TeamDME! XL

Team DME!TeamDME!
www.teamdme.com
(888) 832-6363
Years company has been in business: 30
Number of installed systems: 525
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, a hosted, web-based/SAAS system, or a hosted system that uses special client software
Technology Used: Borland Dephi Firebird SQL
Recent Developments: TeamDME! has partnered with CMB Solutions to offer a end to end patient resupply management solution that helps providers ensure positive patient outcomes and overcome their challenges and workload demands. TeamDME! uPayBill also allowing delivery staff to process patient payments in real time at the point of service, eliminating nearly all manual patient collections processes while increasing providers’ cash flow. TeamDME! SalesForce integration gives sales team integrated access throughout the post-acute care experience. With the shift to value-based care, it’s more important than ever to reduce readmissions and improve patient outcomes — all while driving down costs. Connect teams around a single view of each patient. Providers can uncover important insights — both clinical and nonclinical — to truly transform the post-acute care experience.

TIMS Software

TIMS Software Computers UnlimitedComputers Unlimited
www.TIMSsoftware.com/Medical
(406) 255-9500
Years company has been in business: 40
Type of system: A stand-alone system installed on-site, or a cloud-based hosted solution
Technology Used: Microsoft SQL and .NET
Recent Developments: With the reimbursement challenges HME providers face in today’s highly competitive and regulated business climate, we think you should have every advantage to help you succeed. The new TIMS Delivery mobile application supports you every step of the way by streamlining your delivery process to maximize productivity and reduce operational costs. The latest release of TIMS Software also provides the most comprehensive and integrated business management software currently available for HME providers. Our rules-based, revenue-qualifying patient intake includes Workflow, Document Management, Denial Management and A/R Collections Worklists, Asset Tracking, Inventory Management, eDrop Shipping, ePurchasing, Business Intelligence, and more.

Accounts Receivable

These are systems that help providers maximize the collection of patient payments, such as co-pays.

Prochant Connect

ProchantProchant Inc.
www.prochant.com
(888) 349-9015
Years company has been in business: 19
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: .net framework, MS-SQL database
Recent Developments: We are continuously innovating AR workflow within Prochant Connect to optimize AR balance and improve reimbursement efficiency. The current release provides the unique ability to create an AR plan with clear identified priorities. The system can establish benchmarks to help HMEs see the effectiveness of the AR plan against milestones. The planner can track and review active AR plans real-time, and check progress against the established benchmarks. This generates a tremendous amount of focus and accountability while dealing with a large volume of back-and-forth operational AR tasks.

Business Analytics

These systems are focused on helping providers look at their business data and draw meaningful conclusions they can put to a strategic end.

PlayMaker Edge for HME and Infusion

PlayMaker EdgePlayMaker Healthwww.playmakerhealth.com
(866) 930-6847
Years company has been in business: 10 years
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Programing Languages: PHP, Java, Objective C; Databases: POSTGRES
Recent Developments: PlayMaker Health continues to add features and functionality to PlayMaker Edge for HME and Infusion, what the company calls a growth platform built specifically for the industry. Recent additions include customizable management dashboards, improved workflows, and faster mobile sync times. In July 2018, PlayMaker Health acquired viaDirect Solutions, a provider of market intelligence and data analytics for the post-acute sector. Also, PlayMaker Health announced an approved integration with Brightree at Medtrade 2018.

Delivery Management/Route Planning

A key business operations element for most HME providers is deliveries and service calls. Regardless of size and scale, most providers must manage their delivery logistics. These systems focus on managing tasks such as route planning, vehicle tracking, delivery notifications, etc.

TransportACE for HME

ApachetaApacheta Corp.
www.apacheta.com
(610) 558-5852
Years company has been in business: 15
Number of installed systems: Hundreds of DMEs representing thousands of users
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Apacheta’s TransportACE and Transport Manager provide a cloud-based route management and a powerful mobile app. TransportACE is comprehensive prompt-driver pickup and delivery app available for iPads, and Android phones and tablets. Transport Manager enables managers and customer service representatives to plan, schedule and monitor technician’s activities.
Recent Developments: TransportACE Forms Manager guides technicians to know what forms are required for each delivery. Technician cannot complete a visit until all required documents are reviewed and signatures captured. Forms Manager improves compliance and operational efficiency by reducing the number of patient revisits due to missing forms and signatures. ACEconnect is Apacheta’s flexible, bi-directional communication platform with a wide variety of devices and application services. ACEconnect File Connector lets customers using any system that supports a CSV data extract import order data into Transport Manager. Once imported, users have access to Transport Manager’s rich set of functionalities for route planning, scheduling and tracking deliveries.

Document Imaging/Management

Documentation is a crucial element of claims processing and has become particularly important now that CMS has expanded its expanded is Medicare claims auditing. These systems help providers digitize and manage their claims and patient documentation.

4tellDocs

4tellDocs4tellSoftware, Inc.
www.4tellSoftware.com
(888) 261-7113
Years company has been in business: 4
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Java
Recent Developments: The new Enhanced version of 4tellDocs (coming soon) has reusable templates for product common combinations and allows secure storage and retrieve of beneficiary information and documentation for a flexible workflow that enables documentation completion over several sessions. New pricing allows both Enhanced and current (Essentials) versions of 4tellDocs to be available for a monthly subscription fee.

E-Commerce/Digital Marketing

Providers are quickly realizing that they must ramp up their retail sales and their online marketing. These systems aim to help providers perfect their digital reach, or manage their online sales, or both.

eRetail - Fully Managed Webstores

Health MobiusHealth Mobius LLC
www.healthmobius.com
(855) 640-9500
Years company has been in business: 10
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: In house created software developed in Microsoft SQL using best industry practices for SSL, PCI and security standards.
Recent Developments: Health Mobius has recently unveiled a unique model that provides fully managed webstores for HME, DME and pharmacy businesses while combining buying group purchasing and access to distribution through a single platform. Health Mobius creates an HME provider’s e-commerce website, backs it with a virtual warehouse containing more than 25,000 cash-sale products from hundreds of manufacturers, and provides a tech team to manage the e-commerce and distribution. The company has created an enterprise portal where manufacturers and distributions can easily and efficiently get their products listed and sold on multiple HME and pharmacy webstores created, hosted and managed by Health Mobius. The company also handles customer service, live chat, update product catalog, inventory and pricing. Additionally, it processes the orders, submits PO and pays vendors, as well as handles all financial and sales tax reporting. The provider keeps the difference between the retail price paid by your customer and the wholesale price paid to the vendor, less Health Mobius’s fees. The buying group membership is free with no minimums and free shipping.

Responsive Websites for HME Providers

ARI NetworkARI Network Services
arinet.com/homemedical/
(877) 805-0803
Years company has been in business: 37
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Not applicable.
Recent Developments: ARI offers HME/DME providers a full suite of website
and online solutions specially designed for businesses to see success in an everchanging digital environment. ARI’s lead generating Responsive website platform drives more qualified in-store and online traffic, leads, and sales. ARI’s latest Responsive platform also features: New customizable webpage designs; secured forms that allow customers to communicate with HME providers; resupply, referral, insurance, and optimized lead forms for example; unlimited custom pages to showcase rentals, used equipment, services, and information about your business; included website maintenance and updates; a secure (HTTPS) URL; and mobile device optimization

e-Prescription

E-prescribe is an electronic delivery system that allows physicians and other medical practitioners to securely send prescriptions and other patient information to other healthcare providers, including HME providers. These systems can stand on their own or tie into integrated electronic medical record systems.

DMEevalumate

DMEevalumateA/R Retrieval, LLC.
www.DMEevalumate.com
(800) 986-9368
Years company has been in business: 12
Number of installed systems: 5300 Users web based
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Recent Developments: With the recent expansion of Medicare’s PMD Prior Authorization Program nationwide, there has been considerable interest in a web based program, that during the Face to Face evaluation, all of Medicare’s required data points are addressed. This ensures when the evaluation is completed, the 7-element order and Face to Face Narrative addresses everything, if the patient qualifies. If, during the Face to Face evaluation the program determines that the patient does not qualify, it will recommend the most appropriate equipment based on Medicare’s coverage criteria and then produce the corresponding paperwork with all required data points in the correct format.

DMEhub

DMEhubDMEhub LLC
DMEhub.com
(877) 461-9706
Years company has been in business: 6
Number of installed systems: 100+
Type of system: A hosted, web-based/SAAS system
Technology Used: Cloud based solution for use with modern web browsers and mobile devices
Recent Developments: Interoperability with multiple EHRs. Order interchange with Brightree legacy interfaces. Servicing large health systems with multiple hospitals, specialty practice groups, and individual practices. Connecting 100+ medical equipment suppliers.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of HME Business.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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