As an HME supplier, your revenue and profit is dependent on your billing system to accurately process claims, manage rejected submissions and to increase your business cash flow. In the recent months, several billing system software vendors have been bought out by other companies and/or are sun-setting their products. This may cause you to feel abandoned, uncertain of your future and wondering about the best strategy to protect your revenue stream. You’re also concerned about maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. In this column, we will discuss the elements and implications of migrating your business data to another software provider from an executive, management, operational and technical viewpoint. As a software solutions provider, some of the more common questions we hear regarding data migration include: What happens when companies walk away? How do I select a new software vendor? What technology should I choose? How do I make due with a limited staff? Is the Cloud a good solution for me? How do I get my data from my existing software vendor? How accurate is my data? What are all the risks? What are all the costs? How long will this take? How do I prepare for the ICD10 transition? The good news for you is that these questions can all be accurately answered by a methodical process. One of the biggest challenges is to understand what needs to be done, what the priorities are, and also to ensure that you do not waste time on unnecessary steps. You are asking, “How do we get our critical business data to a new system as seamlessly and cost effectively as possible?” It’s important that you understand how to reduce risk, increase productivity and increase product demand, while receiving the quickest reimbursements possible. We recently able to help one of our clients migrate over 120,000 patients and over 4,000 products from their antiquated billing system to a modern replacement. The products had more than 50,000 pricing variations for 2,000 payers, and $100,000 in inventory that needed to be meticulously analyzed and migrated. Each patient had associated primary and secondary physicians, ICD-9 diagnostic codes, referrals, sales contact logging information and legal documents such as prescriptions. Additionally, they had a requirement to tie their automated sales lead generations seamlessly into the new billing software. As you can image, this was quite an effort, but we overcame the challenges by careful planning, prioritization and delegation. To enable a smooth transition, 150 staff needed training on the new system: the sales order takers, logistics, purchasing, billing, support and management. All these pieces had to be carefully put in place to work together. As the maintenance costs on the old billing system disappeared, the ROI on the new system showed itself relatively quickly. Not only did the internal processes flow more smoothly, but the valuation of the company as a whole increased while increasing EBITDA, which pleased the board of directors as well as the investors. Each business is unique and has its own set of challenges. Solutions need to be flexible enough to meet rapidly changing requirements. Due to Medicare, Medicaid and other state and federal regulations, the HME business is far too dynamic to create requirements with little or no flexibility. What works for a large company may not work as well for a smaller business. The goal is to find a happy medium that delivers the best results for the size of your organization. Delivery is the key to success. You can be assured that solutions are available and the migration process doesn’t have to be daunting or painful. As you drill down into more specific areas of concern, a business owner can develop confidence that they have made the correct decision in billing software migration and that their revenue stream is protected. Management can gain a clearer understanding of the technical challenges and the steps required to complete the data transition. Operational staff can further understand the requirements needed to successfully run the business smoothly in the future to secure revenue and increase customer demand and satisfaction.