CareCentric focuses on customer service

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Industry software and billing services bigwig CareCentric shook up its management in November, announcing that long-time CEO John Festa and CFO Lyle Newkirk had resigned. The departures are all part of the company's initiative to integrate acquisitions made over the past few years and rededicate itself to customer service. "We are excited about reaching out to our customers," said Ana McGary, senior vice president of software operations and administration. "That is the biggest thing that we haven't done a good job of because we've been running so fast." As the company searches for Festa's replacement, board member Stewart Reed will serve as interim CEO. In mid-December, McGary talked about business software for the HME industry and her company's goals.
HME: A common knock against providers is that they are slow to adopt technology.
McGary: When you look at financial institutions and other industries, they are all way ahead of home care, and we have to head in that direction to make it more efficient.
I think there was a time when you could fall behind in this industry because the money was flowing very easily. Because of regulatory changes and the government requirements, providers have to be more efficient. They have to look to technology to cut some of those corners and stay compliant and meet all the regulations and get the bills out the door and get paid. I think technology is the only way to take care of human error or the learning curve.
HME: For example?
McGary: A system that has online training. When they have a new hire, they can educate them online. They don't need to pay hundreds of dollars to have one person come out and train. We need to continue to make it easier for them.
HME: Did CareCentric's rapid growth hurt its customers?
McGary: I don't think it hurt existing customers, but I believe we should have paid more attention to them. We have a strong internal campaign: Your customers are it. Every employee at every level has to know that. I'm a believer that if you take care of your employees, and your employees take care of your customers, it's all one circle. It will come back and make your company profitable.
HME: Will your customers notice anything differently in how CareCentric operates?
McGary: I think they are going to see a better face out there. A service. When they call, we are going to find out how we can partner with them--instead of, 'Let me fix your problem. Bye.' We are going to go visit and talk to them, go back and introduce ourselves to our customers.