The HME/DME business is very bureaucratic, with the delivery of medical equipment taking anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Such delays are common with HME/DME providers because of the nature of the business and conditions set by Medicare and Medicaid. It gets worse when a provider still relies on the traditional claims processing methods that involve manual coding and billing.
If you’re running a DME business, you understand that fast and efficient provision of services means dependable revenue cycle management and happy clients.
In this article, let’s learn some of the key efficiency bottlenecks affecting DME businesses and how you can avoid them.
1. Supply Chain Issues
The supply chain issues exacerbated by the pandemic just exposed logistical issues that affect DME/HME providers in day-to-day activities. Sourcing crucial medical equipment such as CPAP machines, hospital beds, and mobility aids requires several approvals and signatures. Moving from office to office seeking these signatures is time-consuming, leading to delays.
It’s critical to realize that HME/DME business is primarily about good logistics. An efficient supply chain is crucial for success. For example, when a physician shows that a patient needs particular medical equipment, the next step is to place an order either via online, fax, or paper. To reduce denials and enable real-time tracking of the equipment, providers can submit their orders electronically. Automating the DME/HME ordering process reduces the time used by patients to get their much-needed equipment.
Through automation, providers can check the status of their orders and communicate directly with payers and manufacturers. The seamless communication between these parties increases efficiency and enables providers to process orders within a matter of days or a few weeks. Automating the DME supply chain eliminates logistical bottlenecks that can cause costly delays.
2. Inventory Problems
Efficiency is the common denominator of success for every DME business. And for most providers, inventory management is the area where inefficiencies play out. Maintaining an accurate record of your inventory is crucial to reducing costs and enhancing service delivery to patients. The fast delivery means quick payment and a smooth cash flow. However, delivery delays, lack of inventory control (frequent out-of-stock cases), complicated billing, and poor customer support result in clients churn.
Going away from the physical management of your DME/HME inventory is the first step toward building an efficient system. Automating your inventory means you don’t experience delays due to missing products or rack up costs when certain products overstay in the warehouse. Adopting automation in your DME business translates to higher productivity, better customer service, and higher profitability.
For example, traditionally, when you want to take a static account of equipment in the warehouse, your team may’ve to work for days counting items one by one. However, with automation, you have a system that keeps an accurate account of all items at any given time. Whenever you want to see the overall performance of your inventory, you can get weekly or monthly reports in a matter of minutes.
3. Communication Problems
Quite often, in the DME business, lack of or inaccurate information is the main reason for delays. Paperwork and inquiries to third-party providers create bottlenecks. Lack of information also impacts customer support. If customer service needs too much time to collect and provide the data to a patient, it affects the relationships negatively. So, how can you make things efficient by streamlining communication?
The solution lies in automating your communication. The DME business involves patient intake, sourcing the right equipment, submitting claims, delivering equipment, and receiving payment. Between these activities, there’s back-and-forth communication among the parties, which is crucial in submitting the right orders and accurate documents.
Having a single platform where all the parties can exchange information anytime can resolve and clarify issues in real-time. This way, you avoid denials, which result from blatant errors due to miscommunication. With such a platform, reminders, alerts, and notifications can be messaged directly to the parties. This facilitates instant communication, thus reducing delays and boosting efficient service delivery.
4. Slow Decision Making
Slow decisions disrupt business, weaken customer service, and frustrate your clients and your partners. In DME/HME industry where access to medical equipment can mean life or death for patients, providers must lay down structures for fast decision-making.
For stakeholders in the DME business, slow decision-making mainly stems from the bureaucratic and complex nature of sourcing DMEs and billing claims.
Navigating through these complex processes with ease means adopting such solutions as RCM Software that capture everything in one place. All processes must be controlled within one software solution with real-time access to data and intelligent analytics tools for making decisions.
5. DME/HME Automation Solutions
As the DME/HME industry evolves, keeping up with technology and regulatory changes can be expensive and difficult if you continue to depend on traditional fax and paper systems. It makes economic sense for any provider to adopt a reliable DME automation product. You can set the system in-house if you have the required IT personnel, but the overhead costs can cripple your business.
To that end, most providers rely on such HME DME billing software as https://nikohealth.com/hme-dme-billing-software/ that can be customized to suit their business model and needs. When you use such software, you minimize administrative costs and increase efficiency in managing your inventory, supply chain, and communication in one place. This way, you can track your financials and assets using a simple and intuitive system.