What's the secret weapon in sleep therapy?

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Friday, November 30, 2018

While we can all appreciate the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, we know there are millions of people who need assistance catching some “ZZZs.” Age, obesity and a greater public awareness of the importance of sleep has led to a steadily growing number of Americans who are tested and treated for sleep apnea.

In fact, a recent studyconvened by ResMed found that sleep apnea affects nearly 1 billion people worldwide. With so many people affected, treatment is moving out of the specialized arena and into more mainstream discussions. As a result, there will be more people diagnosed, more people looking to research their options and more potential customers for the savvy HME provider.

Success within the sleep therapy market—a growing, highly competitive and compliance-driven area—hinges on data collection, patient outcomes and compliance. By making data the heart of your operation, you can drive business decisions that lead to a higher rate of compliance and repeat referrals and customers.

But you must first find the right technology partner that offers the tools and resources needed to handle all of these challenges, as well as help you maintain and grow referrals, which are the backbone of any sleep therapy business.

So how can technology help boost sleep therapy referrals? Below are four ways providers can leverage technology to do just that, all while ensuring stellar patient care.  

Monitor compliance

Compliance is crucial to any sleep therapy practice. It’s critical that providers leverage technology that automates patient compliance via real-time integration with leading sleep therapy manufacturers. With robust technology, providers can access compliance and therapy reports to deliver meaningful information to the post-acute referral sources. Technology can also help determine non-compliance earlier so those patients who need help can be identified early on. And by helping more patients comply with home therapy protocols, you’re aiding referral sources in avoiding readmissions.

Optimize resupply

Providers should be utilizing technology to launch automated, intelligent patient contact campaigns to reach the right patient at the right time with the right products. Beyond just increasing communication with customers, certain technologies can help track patients who are eligible for resupply, which helps to reduce denials and increase sales orders. By eliminating human touches, you can cut down on the number of staff members working on each order, which saves the practice time and money, as well as facilitates a better patient and referral experience.

Automate ordering processes

Every provider’s objective should be to make the reordering process as seamless for the patient as possible. This means letting the patient reorder in the way they want, such as being able to call-in, visit a brick-and-mortar store, or order online via a portal.

Finding ways to automate processes is an important driver in operational excellence and exceptional customer service. It’s also important to leverage technology that helps move inventory out of your warehouse and into the hands of the patients. Certain technologies allow you to order supplies directly from leading vendors and perform direct-to-patient shipping, which helps to relieve the mounting pressures of reduced reimbursement rates, additional compliance regulations and higher shipping charges.

Integrate with manufacturers and external referral sources

Finding a solution that allows your organization to integrate with top manufacturers will allow you to better track and manage therapy compliance of sleep-disordered patients. Communication is key in any sleep therapy business. With integrated technology, you can seamlessly communicate with acute-care referral sources, as well as exchange information and receive referrals from external sources.

Sleep therapy is becoming a major component of the HME provider’s business. As more providers look to boost their sleep therapy practices, technology is a key factor in helping to inform business decisions and increase referral sources.

With healthcare moving to an outcomes-based reimbursement model, it’s more important than ever that sleep therapy practices utilize technology to improve patient care, keep accurate patient records and regularly share outcomes with physicians to limit readmissions and increase reimbursements.

So, what’s the secret weapon in sleep therapy? Robust, innovative technology.
Steve Rogers is vice president of product management of Brightree.