Scholarly approach: Keys to financial stability

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Friday, November 30, 2018

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Olivia Patton, chief compliance officer for Verus Healthcare, recently wrote a dissertation analyzing the financial stability of a Medicare respiratory contract supplier.

HME News spoke to Patton about her findings and how HME providers can remain in business despite reimbursement cuts.

HME News: Why did you choose to research this topic?

Olivia Patton: DME providers are going out of business left and right, and what I wanted to know is, how do you actually stay financially stable with these price cuts? Is it possible, yes or no? According to the findings, it is, but only if you’re already financially stable.

HME: What were some of the key recommendations?

Patton: The first one is operational efficiency. Using software automation is a key factor (to being) financially stable. The second is analyzing your cost of goods sold, so that you can reduce your costs to stay afloat. Identifying any kind of vendor associated with how you make money—it could be your Internet service provider or your IT provider—and working and negotiating with them to get better prices.

HME: Did any of your findings surprise you?

Patton: Human resource solutions, because there were two different aspects. One was to put the right people in the right places, for example, heavy loading the executive team; and the other portion was finding offshore solutions.

HME: Is it possible to stay financially stable and still provide quality patient care?

Patton: That was one of those outlier themes that didn’t correlate with my study but came up frequently. Patient care is one of the first things to go. There’s no more, “Let me hold your hand to the car; let me make sure someone is there in person with you.” The cost associated with that is too high. That’s where the automation portion comes in.