The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home. It is good for our minds, bodies and souls, used by all. The kitchen is a must-have in every house and sets the tone for the resale value of the home. Without it, the family doesn’t operate the same, as they can’t nourish themselves.
In HME companies, what would you consider to be the heart of your business? The sales team? The products? Or maybe the delivery teams? In reality, the true heart of any HME company is the billing department. Without the billing department, orders cannot be processed, claims cannot be generated for payment, revenue cannot increase and, therefore, employees cannot be paid.
Consider your billing department for a moment. Does it run like a well-oiled machine? How quickly are orders confirmed? Are payments received in a timely manner? Is the average days sales outstanding (DSO) number low? For a successful HME business to run efficiently, the billing department must be the final step that operates at peak performance.
For many organizations, the answer to those questions may be “no.” Because of the amount of documentation needed to process an order, the billing department can get backlogged. Not only are billers sifting through paperwork from customer service and referral sources, but all the delivery documents also fall on their desks. We call this a delivery document dump, and it is not fun for the billers. This manual process of submitting paperwork to the billing department is outdated and inefficient. The billers can be waiting days, weeks or, worse, months for the necessary forms that delivery technicians collected during each of their stops. Once the paperwork is finally received, information such as serial numbers or quantity changes will be manually entered into the billing system and then scanned into the document management system. While this seems simple, it is a time-consuming practice and leaves too much room for error, such as mistyping quantity changes or scanning documents to the wrong patient file.
This traditional approach can leave the billers frustrated and overworked. Not only is this bad for employee morale, it also slows down revenue generation—and no one is happy when the company isn’t getting paid.
In order to keep the body running, the heart must be operating effectively. Consider deploying a mobile solution to help manage your delivery process. This will help the delivery teams in their daily tasks, but it also greatly benefits the billing department.
By electronically filing all required paperwork after each stop, the mobile solution can be integrated with the back-office system used by the billing department, making updates between each system in real time. This means when the delivery technicians complete an order on their tablet or smartphone, they are automatically sending all delivery documentation with patient signatures to the billing department immediately. Now billers can begin processing each order before the delivery technician even returns for the day. Such a system can eliminate daunting piles of delivery documents making it faster and easier to confirm orders, which in turn improves DSO by days or even weeks.
Another major point of stress for the billing department is the looming possibility of an audit. Sorting through thousands of files to produce necessary documentation for any given order—to then realize the form was never turned in or lost due to misfiling—can lead to an overworked heart of the business.
With electronic records of every customer order and account, providers are more prepared for potential questions and can find answers with a click of a button. Not only are all documents well-sorted and effortlessly accessible, but billers can rest assured knowing nothing is missing or out of place. This means the amount of time and money spent on overtime hours and unnecessary write-offs will also reduce significantly.
Lastly, billing systems should be an easy way to keep track of your organization’s trends, such as how much materials cost, staff turnover rates or customer profitability. Providers must monitor trends and costs so as to not remain blind to the factors that might be hindering the business’s success. An electronic billing system that integrates with both the front-end sales database, as well as the mobile delivery logistics solution, now has a complete picture of the entire business. Therefore, billers can easily pull reports showing the good, the bad and the ugly of their workflow operations, allowing HME executives to make necessary improvements to processes to advance revenue streams.
To avoid the unnecessary stress on the heart of the organization caused by a delivery document dump, consider implementing a mobile solution that not only improves the delivery process but the billing operations as well to increase cash flows and an efficient organization.
This article is the last in a four-part series focusing on the aspects of mobile logistics software. Read the full series here.