Mellott: Four Factors Will Help Shape HME

Brightree CEO Matt Mellott discusses pivotal business, care and technology trends that will influence how HME providers run their businesses.

Several business and healthcare trends are bearing down on the HME industry, and it will be up to providers and their business partners to shape how they adapt to those changes, said Brightree CEO Matt Mellott during his keynote address at this week’s Brightree User Summit.

Speaking to attendees of the Monday event held at the Omni hotel, which is adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center where the industry was attending this week’s Medtrade conference and expo, Mellott identified four key factors that will define HME:

  • Healthcare technology advances.
  • Increased competition from big tech players.
  • Consumer engagement in healthcare.
  • Integration of payers and providers.

In multiple respects, the first two trends are interrelated, given that companies such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Alibaba have the money, market share and technology muscle to lead the way.

“Alphabet with its very joint ventures is looking to manage chronic disease by building an AI-powered population health management platform,” Mellott noted. “Apple’s working on a consumer-centric EHR and trying to own the patient and the consumer. And finally, Amazon. Disrupting the distribution pathway for drugs, supplies, and services that are shipped direct to consumer.”

The adoption of consumer engagement tools will help put consumers in control of their own healthcare and improving patient experience, Mellott said. This will put “health and wellness in one place,” drive efficiency in outcomes, and emphasize “providing quality and transparency, supporting evidence-based decision making.”

Mellott said payer-provider integration will continue to integrate and redefine care delivery models in order to help those players gain greater control. He highlighted how strategic integrations such as United and DaVita, CVS and Aetna, and Humana and Kindred have significant implications on healthcare.

“These moves are both offensive and defensive plays to guard against new entrants,” Mellott explained. “And they're competing for market share. Attempting to control how patients and money flow through the system. Each of these entities could evolve differently, meaning we would likely have many more payer models when it's all said and done.

“We're converging towards an industry with a handful of powerful integrated players,” he continued. “That integration will increase the focus on value-based care, proving outcomes, and achieving cost-savings. Success then, as it does now, depends on how we choose to react to these industry changes.”

To that end, he explained that providers will need to have the right business resources and technology tools to ensure they can adapt to change are positioned to remain competitive.

“Having the right tools to stay relevant and profitable throughout it,” Mellott advised. “The current and future state of your business will continue to be shaped by your ability to re-engineer your workflow, pick the right partners and utilize technology.”

About the Author

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

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