Reinventing HME Resupply
Optimizing resupply programs for increased profits is expanding beyond sleep. What lessons can we apply?
- By Morgan Dopplick
- May 01, 2019
The resupply process can be burdensome and difficult to manage effectively for HMEs trying to do it alone. Yet the fact remains: regular, efficient and seamless resupply is a critical component of ensuring patients are truly getting what they need to achieve positive outcomes on their therapy. In fact, sleep therapy patients enrolled in a resupply program were found to be twice as likely to remain on their therapy over the first year than those who were not.1
Resupply management programs have long served HMEs’ sleep and respiratory businesses, demonstrating time and time again the impact a seamless, tailored solution can have in boosting efficiencies and improving patient compliance. In addition, resupply can also create a consistent, low-touch revenue stream that HMEs can rely on. As more and more providers turn to resupply management programs, they’re increasingly looking for end-to-end solutions that support multiple therapy segments and can integrate with existing business management solutions and services.
At Brightree, we’ve learned a lot over the years supporting the resupply needs for our customers’ 1.5 million sleep and respiratory patients. In fact, we’ve uncovered three key lessons that we’ve also integrated into our newly introduced Brightree ReSupply solution, optimized for the apnea, incontinence, diabetic and enteral segments.
Supporting Specific Business Needs
First and foremost, it’s important for HMEs to understand the pain points or bottlenecks within their organizations, then seek software solutions that will help address them. Solutions that create more work or add additional workflows to already stretched providers are largely counterintuitive. What we hear from HMEs is that they’re looking for solutions that streamline processes, enable them to do more with fewer resources and include options for customization and expansion as business evolves.
HMEs who have limited staffing and/or a desire to focus more on patient care may want to consider a resupply management program that allows outsourcing of important services, such as live calling — the contact mode most patients prefer. Those looking to maximize resupply capabilities to optimize margins and patient care may do well with a solution that includes performance concierge services, like system analysis, staff training and personalized management of enrollment, campaigns, compliance and exclusions. HMEs seeking to address order overload may want to explore a solution that manages order intake by processing all required documentation and performing quality assurance on each order.
At Brightree, we’ve expanded our resupply solution beyond sleep therapy to now include incontinence, diabetic and enteral business segments because we understand the benefit in moving those multiple manual workflows into a single, efficient solution. HMEs can then maximize time and resources, streamline workflows and simplify processes. And, all of these benefits allow the provider to shift some focus right where it needs to be — with the patients and their care.
Reaching the Right Patient at the Right Time
Which brings me to the second key lesson we’ve learned about resupply, which applies far beyond sleep therapy, and that’s the importance of reaching the right patient, for the right equipment, at the right time, and in the right format. Providers who use an automated patient contact system for resupply see an average of 9 percent increase in retention, 29 percent increase in revenue and 37 percent increase in revenue per order, according to Brightree benchmarking data from actual users. This is where technology proves incredibly valuable – offering the ability to fine-tune a list of patients with information on their specific therapies, corresponding insurance eligibility and preferred method of contact, as well as managing outreach from start to finish. Live-calling and order intake services, for example, enable HMEs to connect with patients, in the way they wish to be contacted, and to resupply their equipment as needed with significantly less labor than it would take to do so manually.
As many of you have experienced, managing and executing across detailed patient lists poses a serious challenge for HMEs serving multiple therapy segments. Different therapies require different resupply intervals, different eligibility requirements and different patient bases. The thought of manually processing each independently is downright daunting, not to mention it strains resources and opens the door for errors. By streamlining into a single solution with a single workflow that can manage the nuances of payor and product behind the scenes, you can instead ensure efficiency and reduce manual error.
Gleaning Greater Insights With an End-to-End Solution
And the biggest slam dunk for a resupply program is when it can integrate with an HME’s existing business management solution to reduce the number of logins and platforms they’re managing across the business. That’s why we’re offering a resupply program solution that can support an array of business segments beyond just sleep and respiratory, streamlining processes even further and enabling advanced analytics that span the entire business.
Analyzing and managing resupply this way, in the context of overall revenue cycle management, provides HMEs with a new level of insight. It creates an opportunity for them to take on greater accountability, be more proactive with their business, and produce stronger results — for their businesses and, most importantly, for the patients they serve.
1 Benjafield A et al., “Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy compliance on a resupply program: A retrospective analysis,” American Journal of Respiratory and critical care medicine (April 2018): 197
Subscribe to the HME Business Podcast and download Episode 007, a special edition of the podcast in which the author, Brightree’s Morgan Dopplick, joins Margaret Lindskog, director of operations for ReSupply at Brightree, to discuss what providers need for a cohesive resupply program and highlight how you can expand it beyond sleep therapy to include incontinence, diabetic, and enteral. The HME Business Podcast is available to all podcast listeners via the major podcast platforms, such as Apple’s iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Make sure to subscribe and start listening today!
This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of HME Business.
Morgan Dopplick is the Director of Connect Operations for Brightree, overseeing Brightree's ReSupply and Connect account management teams. She has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with a focus on developing efficient workflows and processes, driving reimbursement and revenue outcomes, and improving patient care.