Today, providers of sleep equipment such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are a dime a dozen. With so many competitors offering basically the same products and services, what can you do to make your business stand out? Follow these business best practices to gain a competitive advantage that will fuel your company’s growth and success.
Deploy an automated CPAP resupply program
A CPAP resupply program automates your business processes, creating streamlined workflows that result in enhanced productivity and, in turn, higher profits. It entails the use of advanced software that enables you and your team to manage your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients’ resupply needs from a single platform. This helps you oversee the various activities involved in the resupply process, from enrolling patients to managing inventory to tracking orders.
In addition to improving your operations, a resupply program benefits your patients. Studies show that being enrolled in a resupply program increases patients’ adherence to CPAP therapy. Patients get fresh masks, tubing, and other supplies regularly, so they can use their CPAP machines every night without fail. As a result, they sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.
Provide ongoing training for your team
A solid training and education program helps CPAP equipment providers develop and retain highly knowledgeable and engaged staff. In turn, this enables them to serve patients more effectively, leading to their overall success.
Design your training program to meet the needs of your team and reflect your business’s mission of delivering the highest-quality CPAP products and patient care. Train and retrain your employees in the basics of your processes, products, and services, but don’t forget the importance of introducing new information. Offer them opportunities to learn about the latest trends in the durable medical equipment (DME) sector by encouraging them to attend trade events and by bringing in guest speakers who are industry experts.
Customer service/engagement is perhaps the most important aspect of your business to train your team in. From the time you hire them, instill in your employees the value of a patient-centric approach to healthcare. Help them build the knowledge and skills they need to create a collaborative partnership with each patient, as well as gain the patient’s trust in and loyalty to your organization. This involves communicating with patients effectively, listening to their concerns and gathering feedback from them, and then acting on that feedback to improve your patients’ overall satisfaction and experience.
Another area to focus on is technology, especially if you’re introducing new hardware and/or software to your business. For new tech to truly add to your business’s success, you must train your staff on how to use it. Even “user-friendly” technologies or those that your employees may already be familiar with require some degree of training for your business to maximize their benefits. Also, you may encounter resistance to new tech from some of your employees, and training would be a great opportunity to show its advantages and win your staff over to its use.
Make your patients’ CPAP compliance a priority
Your team’s number one goal should always be patient compliance. And the best way to ensure that is to educate patients about CPAP and OSA. It’s crucial that patients understand the importance of adhering to CPAP therapy — the more that patients know about CPAP machines and OSA, the higher their chances of complying with therapy and reaping its health benefits.
Your patients must also be clear on the consequences of nonadherence. Explain that insurance firms track patients’ compliance through monitoring technology built into CPAP machines. Compliance entails using a CPAP machine for four hours or more per night during a 30-day period (or at least 21 out of those 30 days). If data gathered by the monitoring tool shows that a patient failed to meet these requirements, the patient’s reimbursement claim may be denied by their insurance provider. The insurance firm may even ask for the CPAP equipment back. Remind your patients to stick to their therapy if they want to avoid these issues.
If you haven’t already, take advantage of the wide variety of software and applications designed to help today’s DME and healthcare organizations automate and streamline their workflows. Especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, adopting new technologies is a necessity — something that businesses can’t avoid or put off, not if they want to weather the current crisis.
Among the technologies you should look into are customer resource management, enterprise resource management, and billing and coding software. In particular, billing and coding software can be of great value to your company, as it can help you reduce the time and effort spent on filing reimbursement claims.
This tedious process involves verifying a patient’s insurance allowables, checking that each item is properly coded, and obtaining all necessary documents. Many billing and coding solutions have a centralized dashboard from which you and your team can access your patients’ insurance information, payment history, and other relevant details. You can also use such tools to send out invoices by batch, making this part of the reimbursement process quicker and easier.
Take advantage of manufacturer programs
A lot of sleep therapy equipment manufacturers offer a range of programs to help DME providers with their operations. For instance, under Circadiance’s Revenue Recovery Program, your company offers a soft cloth CPAP mask to patients who stopped therapy because they found the traditional hard plastic masks uncomfortable. Giving patients an alternative to plastic masks will hopefully turn them back onto CPAP therapy. And as long as they remain compliant, you’ll provide them with the supplies they need, which, in turn, will generate revenue for your business.
Also, most CPAP manufacturers offer training programs and resources to DME providers. The ResMed Academy Online, for example, gives providers access to a digital library of modules on a variety of topics, including the proper use of their products and the latest developments in sleep medicine. All courses and activities offered through this program are accredited and approved by the American Academy of Respiratory Care, California Board of Registered Nurses, and Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.
For more information and guidance on how to drive your DME business forward, turn to Revsuppliance. For years, we have been Oklahoma’s trusted DME resupply company. Schedule a consultation to get started on your journey to success — call 405-467-1791 today.