Binson’s bets on partnerships with hospital systems

‘This is going to differentiate us from other suppliers’
Friday, November 1, 2013

CENTER LINE, Mich. – Binson’s Home Health Centers has joined forces with two hospital systems, a sign of things to come as the HME industry reshapes itself, the provider says.

“Our gut feeling is that this is how it’s going to go,” said Jimmy Binson, vice president. “This is how you are going to grow and survive.”

In October, Binson’s announced that two Michigan hospital systems, Flint-based McLaren Health Care and Grand Blanc Township-based Genesys Health System, would merge their HME businesses into Binson’s affiliate, Hart Medical. A third system, Henry Ford Health System, is in negotiations to do the same.

An HME provider-hospital system partnership gives both parties a greater core mass of business, a key to long-term viability, Binson’s officials say.

“We are consolidating their purchasing volume with Binson’s and that of our other affiliates to negotiate contracts with manufacturers and distributors,” said Ken Fasse, COO of Binson’s.

The mergers will also give the hospital systems access to Medicare contracts. Binson’s, which has seven locations in Michigan and two in Florida, won contracts in several areas for several product categories, including diabetes testing supplies.

Additionally, healthcare reform requires hospitals to reduce readmission rates or face penalties, pushing many systems to partner with HME providers that can help them accomplish that goal.

“I don’t think hospitals look at DME as a big profit generator,” said Craig Hittle, senior manager of the healthcare team at Somerset CPAs. “But, DME is a critical part of the discharge process, so I do think we are going to see more of this where it’s a win-win for both.”

In an effort to close the healthcare loop, Binson’s has also launched AssuraScript, a clinical pharmacy that will provide oversight of patients to ensure they are educated and adherent on their therapy and medications.

“With one phone call, the patient can get supplies, medications, education and clinical oversight by the pharmacist,” said Chadi Azzi, director of pharmacy operations. “This will position any partner to have better outcomes, improved revenues and a decrease in health costs.”

AssuraScript has contracted with a software provider that offers a centralized system that interfaces with physician offices, payers and other contractors to look at the patient profile from one perspective.

“This is a powerful package of services and this is going to differentiate Binson’s from other local DME suppliers,” said Fasse.