Answers from industry experts
by Kristin Easterling
August 22, 2018

HME BILLING AND CONSULTING, INC.

Lori House, MHA, CPHIMS, CPC-A
National Director, Client Acquisition

hmebillingandconsulting.com

How do mobile and desktop solutions differ?
HOUSE:
Mobile solutions can be accessed from any location and on multiple types of devices, internet connection permitting. Computer hardware failure, security malfunctions and natural disasters are no longer a threat to data. Desktop solutions are not dependent on an internet connection. Many business owners feel more secure knowing they have complete control over the data on their server.

How can billing software enhance operations?
HOUSE:
The right product will help manage your workflow, reduce errors and can connect with a remote billing office. The software should allow you to build custom rules into the system to prevent costly errors.

How does outsourcing billing help improve a company’s bottom line?
HOUSE:
A team of experienced, educated, reliable billing experts is crucial to your financial success. Billing companies are typically paid on a percentage basis of the monies collected. This encourages them to collect every dollar available since they have a vested interest. Companies will collect, on average, 5 to 15 percent more money by outsourcing.

COMPUTERS UNLIMITED

Doug Iversen, Director of Sales and Marketing
cu.net

What sets your company apart?
IVERSON:
At Computers Unlimited, we focus on service to our users. The support departments are a big part of the TIMS Software team, and our phones are answered by real people.

How do mobile and desktop solutions differ?
IVERSON:
HME businesses want their employees to have what they need, when they need it. The advantage comes when a user doesn’t have to choose only desktop or only mobile. With an integrated system, information is shared in real time between devices, so mobile and desktop become seamless.

How can billing software enhance operations?
IVERSON:
Billing software should be business specific and flexible to allow workload monitoring, ensure a higher degree of organization with processes such as payer authorization and collections, and ensure the right mix of inventory is available. We excel in our strong consumable and rentable inventory controls and integrated mobile delivery applications.

ALLEGIANCE GROUP

Bruce Gehring, SVP of Business Development
allegiance-group.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
GEHRING:
Allegiance Group offers the industry results for cash recovery and staff efficiency, automated billing solutions compatible with the provider’s software, customizable and patient-friendly communications, flexible payment options to meet customers’ needs, and custom call center services for customer care and billing support.

What are the current challenges in the billing software market?
GEHRING:
Three challenges facing HME providers are increasing staff efficiency, improving collections and growing revenue.

How can billing software enhance operations?
GEHRING:
With reimbursement cuts and increased patient responsibility, providers need to focus on private pay collections. COLLECTPlus enables providers to secure payment information up front and engage in an accelerated billing and collection process. This helps providers recover their private pay balances faster and reduce their collection costs.

ATLAS ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE

Bill Paul, CEO
atlas-vue.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
PAUL:
ATLAS Software is a single-source, seamless enterprise software. It works from the premise that clean billing claims start at intake, get paid faster and stay paid when they are processed using workflows specific to a payer’s requirement and using only the supporting documents required by that payer, with an electronic audit trail.

How can billing software enhance the operations of a provider?
PAUL:
An enterprise software that can process a customer order from intake to delivery will give the operation the efficiency to move orders faster with greater accuracy for increased cash flows and larger top-line revenues.

PROCHANT, INC.

Joey Graham, VP of Operations
prochant.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
GRAHAM:
Prochant is a platform-neutral revenue cycle management partner for HME providers. We do not force software on our clients. Instead, we have relationships with all of the major HME billing systems, and we work inside our clients’ existing billing system as if we are their employees.

What trends are you watching?
GRAHAM:
One current trend is integration with referral sources via third-party channels, re-invigorating the e-referral market, which had stagnated for several years. HME billing software providers are providing solutions that include the ability to “bake in” some of the provider’s knowledge base such that the system assists in prequalifying patients and tracks the referral/order information.

How can billing software enhance operations?
GRAHAM:
E-referrals or inbound electronic fax, workflow management, document imaging, integrated electronic eligibility verification, drop-ship vendor integration, mobile delivery, perpetual inventory management, automated claims processing and more. Your billing system should help ensure that your team is accepting clean orders on the front end. Clinicians, field/hospital liaisons and service technicians all benefit greatly from mobile solutions.

TEAM DME!

Kent Barnes, Director of Marketing
teamdme.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
BARNES:
TeamDME! offers a complete front- and back-end office software solution. This solution allows the user to generate a company balance sheet and income statements to know the true financial health of the company.

How can billing software enhance operations?
BARNES:
Good billing software should ensure providers can give customers the best purchasing experience. When customers are unable to quickly get information on their order status, can’t get issues resolved in a timely manner, or must frequently deal with products being out of stock, they will be less satisfied and less likely to continue purchasing.

BONAFIDE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Wayne Bailey, Director of Client Services
bonafide.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
BAILEY:
Bonafide offers a consolidated corporate and individual location view. This allows the billing manager to oversee all billing activities in one place. Our claim management dashboards are also helpful, allowing billing managers and executives to fine-tune the billing team and processes.

What are the current challenges in the billing software market?
BAILEY:
The biggest challenge we’re seeing in the market is lower reimbursement rates, which lead to declining margins. Bonafide offers real-time eligibility verification, point-of-sale tools, automatically generated compliance documentation and other tools.

BRIGHTREE

Rob Boeye, Executive Vice President HME Business
brightree.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
BOEYE:
We make it simple to do business in the post-acute care space with our business management solutions and services that streamline operational processes, increase connectivity with referral sources and patients, and improve profitability.

What trends are you watching?
BOEYE:
One trend we’re seeing is today’s growth-oriented providers are looking to automate as many processes as possible. Brightree is working both internally and with external partners to automate the intake process, which many providers identify as a costly step in acquiring a patient and an order.

UNIVERSAL SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

Lisa Anderson, Education and Outreach
universalss.com

What sets your company apart?
ANDERSON:
We let our clients be the experts of their business. We offer an API that allows our clients to plug our HDMS product in where it makes sense for their business.

What trends are you watching?
ANDERSON:
Insurance regulatory changes are a never-ending battle; we are always watching competitive bidding efforts. Also, we are watching retail management. As more working patients enter the arena, we are excited to help our clients understand how best to serve them and capture their dollars.

How do mobile solutions help businesses?
ANDERSON:
With mobile, delivery techs can cope with changes from the main office, provide easier setup and eliminate bundles of paperwork to shuffle at each delivery stop. Mobile also offers a major change for the home offices, giving them real transparency to their fleet in the field.

How can billing software enhance operations for providers?
ANDERSON:
A billing software that offers a front-to-back operations solution is the easiest way to stay profitable. Owners need one software, increased interoperability and one database that holds all the information needed to watch your trends in every area.

WAYSTAR

Phil Dolan, Senior Vice President of Marketing
waystar.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
DOLAN:
Waystar provides cloud-based, extensive revenue cycle technology that simplifies and unifies revenue cycle management across care settings and offers a tailored support experience for users.

What trends are you watching?
DOLAN:
Patient billing—according to the Patient Payment Check-Up Survey conducted by Waystar and HIMSS Analytics, 86 percent of patients who received cost estimates understood their payment responsibility, but only 10 percent receive one without asking, and less than one-third know to ask for one. By including patient estimates as part of the check-in process, health care organizations can give patients the transparency they want—creating a better patient experience while also prompting payments in full.

What are the advantages of a cloud-based system?
DOLAN:
Cloud-based solutions facilitate an anytime, anywhere experience while ensuring privacy and security. They are nimble, thus allowing providers to upgrade and adapt to health care’s rapidly changing environment while meeting patients’ needs.

How can billing software enhance the operations of a provider?
DOLAN:
Billing software can help providers get paid more quickly and completely by automating and streamlining the payment process. For patient payment, this process begins when the provider generates a patient estimate and concludes when they are paid in full.

BFLOW SOLUTIONS

Ted Jones, President
bflowdmebillingsoftware.com

What sets your company apart in the industry?
JONES:
We bundle our technology to give our customers the tech they need for a flat rate instead of selling the different pieces of tech as separate components. We are focused on being device agnostic, allowing the user to experience the full BFLOW system on any size or type of device with the use of responsive web browser technology. Lastly, BFLOW is devoted to the concept of delivery-intuitive user interfaces that get the job done in the fewest amount of clicks possible.

How do mobile and desktop solutions differ?
JONES:
There is no advantage of having to pick between mobile or desktop. For us, they are both the same and, therefore, one solution that operates in both realms is a critical design requirement. We are close to a completely new version release of BFLOW that takes the end user even closer to a completely device agnostic experience, where they can work on any device.

How can billing software enhance operations?
JONES:
Billing software can’t enhance an operation anymore. Most providers are already using billing software and, therefore, they cannot realize any additional productivity gains. Business management software is the future of the post-acute market. Providers need patient payment portals, social media integrated with their shopping carts, retail capabilities and billing decision management apps that drive down A/R backlogs and increase revenue. The time for billing software has passed and the future lies in cross functional integration and capability adoption with today's app culture.