I am the chief operating officer a group of sleep medicine related companies in Oklahoma. I have 2 sleep diagnostic testing facilities as well as 2 durable medical equipment companies. I have had a lot of the same struggles that most small business owners have experienced in ANY field. Our challenges feel somewhat magnified in the modern era of failing reimbursements, more stringent documentation and obstacles that stand in the way for us being able to take care of our patients and be paid for our work. I am sure most managers would agree when I say that finding great employees is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. You might be able to secure the referrals, have the most advanced technology, perfect location - and it’s all wasted if you don’t have folks on your team that smile, work hard and truly care about the patients and the mission on hand.
Having great employees is only the beginning. You must then find the areas in which they can succeed and the areas in which you have a need. My wife told me a story last night. She’s an educator and is opposed to standard testing. Let’s say you have a bear, a monkey, a horse and a chicken. You place an apple on top of a tree. You instruct the animals to retrieve the apple. The one that can successfully complete the task is the winner. Well, as you know most of the animals listed do not have the ability, the tools etc to complete said task. Does that mean they fail? Does that mean that they are not useful? You see finding the employee is great – now let’s find the area in which they can best serve. Let’s give them the directives in which we know they can complete successfully.
When you talk about re-supply patients- that’s a very specific skill set, technology, efficiency and ability is required. You have to have someone or something very organized. We tried and failed to re-supply out of our office several times over the last 10 years. We tried hiring more folks for that team (very expensive). We tried to improve our inventory systems to handle the increased shipments. The reality is I have an patient focused office. We take GREAT care of our patients. We use the most expensive Auto-PAPs (auto CPAP machines) money can buy, we have the perfect location. We undergo constant training on new and improved masks and we do it all very well. We are smiling faces that love on patients and work often to improve that experience. This is what we are not: a warehouse, a call center, a shipping center, a packing center, not always have Spanish speaking team members available. With REVS we have all that. Now we are all the things I just listed that we are “not”. The partnership that we have with REVS has enable us to focus on the things we do excellently and grow in every direction. When your pipes leak, you don’t call a fairer, you call a plumber. Allowing and encouraging your team to focus on the things you do well is paramount in this current climate. Re-supplying patients is a must. Its good for the patients, its great for the referring providers and in this day and age, it can also be a large amount of the revenue created by the DME companies. When you have a compliant patient, that patient becomes an annuity to your organizations.
Please call or email me if you’d like to hear more of my story. Gatta run, we have folks in the lobby waiting to be seen.
Philip H. Zoellner
Chief Operating Officer:
Zoellner Medical Group
A to Z/Madison Medical
Dr. Zzz’s Sleep Center