2021 HME Handbook: Accreditation

Using Accreditation to Sell Your Business

Prospective buyers will evaluate your operations, and if your HME business is accredited, then you will have the resources to make the process much easier.

Preparing to sell your business to attract a potential buyer can be viewed much like preparing for an accreditation survey.

All aspects of your day-to-day operations need to be evaluated. However, if your firm is accredited, it’s likely that you already have the tools at hand that will make the job much less fretful.

Good communications are key. Start with your company brochure. Include a mission statement that describes your business and service goals. Have documentation that spells out who formed the company, who currently owns it, who is in charge of everyday operations, as well as a list of employees and their responsibilities.

How do you deliver the services you promise? Who are the customers you serve? Are you meeting your financial goals?

Your policy and procedure manual should describe how your organization gets things done and those responsible for doing the work.

Hands-on knowledge of your employees is imperative. Performance evaluations and training tell a prospective buyer a lot. Ensure that your staff members are vetted and in good standing via sources as SAM and OIG. Review all policies and procedures. Do they match your process? If not, change one or the other.

Sell or don’t sell; that is the question. Whatever your reason is to sell, you want to be prepared to get the biggest bang for the buck!

As accreditors, we look at things operationally and how what you do impacts the patient. Though important, just having pretty financials and good EBITDA numbers doesn’t paint the whole picture for us.

First and foremost, the strength of your business is your employees. Not just you’re your leadership team, but those on the front lines every day. They are the people who leave lasting impressions with your patients. Hire the right people for the job at hand and train them well.

If you are a DMEPOS provider, you likely specialize in equipment. If so, your business relies on the service associated with it. Excelling in equipment management is therefore hugely important. It all starts in the warehouse.

You should have a profile for every piece, where it is at, the manufacturer’s guidelines and a history of the device. Track patient usage, all breakdowns and repairs, as well as all preventive maintenance. Proper storage, handling and infection control are mandatory procedures. Monitor staff and patient feedback. Did the outcome meet the desired results?

Product deliveries and their associated services are another strength. Patient files should tell a story of everything that a patient has received from your company. State why they received it and include all of the mandatory billing documentation.

Marketing comes next. A potential buyer will certainly be interested in your business’s market penetration as well as how you differentiate yourself from the competition. Highlight growth opportunities. One way of sharing your success is via patient satisfaction surveys. Look at your patient satisfaction scores to see if you are meeting their needs. Not only is it a Medicare requirement, but it’s also good business.

Patient demographics are important for a prospective buyer to know. Are there complimentary services or products you can offer them? Just as training is a huge factor in employee performance and retention, so is patient education. Be their “go-to” provider for questions and turn that into sales.

Last but certainly not least is how you minimize risk. Focus on perfecting your basic day-to-day operations to prevent patient or employee incidents. Make sure time-sensitive supplies are current and all equipment is in good working order.

Keep in mind that a savvy buyer, much like we accreditors, will look beyond your financials to see if you are running a great operation. Using accreditation quality standards as a guide should help make finding a buyer that much easier.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • Perform a Mock survey of your Business
  • Operations manual or guide
  • Operational excellence leads to a healthy bottom line
  • A company is judged by their weakest link; don’t have any!
  • Excel in 2 things, Equipment Management and Patient services, which leads to lower risk
  • Measure patient and employee satisfaction and take any corrective actions necessary

LEARN MORE

Having a business worthy of selling must be of value to your employees and patients and any other stakeholders involved. Using an operational approach to achieving success will get your business in shape to pass it on to the next owner. Accreditation quality standards address areas that must work efficiently in order to generate profits that a buyer will require. Find out more at hme-business.com/accreditation and thecomplianceteam.org.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of HME Business.

About the Author

Sandra C. Canally is founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, Inc., which was approved by CMS in 2006 to accredit all types of DMEPOS businesses. For more information, visit www.exemplaryprovider.com or e-mail info1@tctinc.us.

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