2012, here we come

Thursday, December 29, 2011

YARMOUTH, Maine - HME providers have set business goals to do everything from increasing cash sales to reducing expenses to fighting audits in 2012.

Provider Johnny Carroll says he plans to increase cash sales to 65% of his overall business in 2012. Cash sales topped out at 26% in 2009 and 51% in 2010.

"We plan to open a new branch with a retail concept and a large display room with good, better, best selection," said Carroll, director of operations and marketing for the Vidalia, Ga.-based Alliance Home Medical.

An overwhelming majority of respondents to the poll, 78%, say they set business goals each year.

Providers have set goals to reduce expenses by, among other things, renegotiating contracts with vendors, rearranging employee schedules to limit overtime, and cutting spending on education and association memberships.

One provider stated his goal for 2012 simply: "Complete every audit and prove them false."

Additionally, providers have set goals tied to net revenue, revenue per full-time employee and days sales outstanding.

An overwhelming majority of respondents to the poll, 88%, also say they keep track of whether they meet their goals. They say they revisit their goals anywhere from monthly to quarterly, and they often engage employees in the process.

"We absolutely set measurable goals each year, categorized in areas of efficiency, finance, outcomes, relationships and growth," said Pamela Kaehler, executive director of Morgantown, W.Va.-based Mon HealthCare. "The degree of goal attainment is reviewed throughout the year and all managers are held accountable. Compensation also ties to this."

Other goals reported by providers: enhance employee engagement and training, diversify into new product lines like home infusion, form strategic partnerships with payers and other companies, improve collections, and review impact of competitive bidding.