Communication improves compliance

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A. It's just as important to have a rapport with existing clients and to build relationships as it is to gain new customers. If you offer your customers mediocre service, they may not complain, however this does not earn you repeat business, referrals or recommendations. As long as the customer's needs and satisfaction are considered a priority, this message will resound among your staff. You and your fellow team members should strive to deliver exceptional service. Not only is this a good standard business practice, but Medicare now requires additional communication between providers and their patients for compliance.

Certain product categories currently require a phone call to the patient before shipping new or replacement supplies. Now these expectations are being set for regular patient contact. Poor patient compliance and adherence leads to poor outcomes and additional expense to insurance carriers and Medicare. However this should be viewed as an opportunity to maintain customers rather than a hindrance.

What are some efficient methods of keeping in touch with existing customers? Remain in the forefront of your customers' minds with monthly newsletters, product specials and/or email updates. Place a call to see how the client is doing and if there is any assistance you can provide. This task may seem daunting depending on the number of clients you need to reach, however you do not have to go at this alone. For small monthly fees, there are customized database programs that can automate processes and improve contact with clients. Working with a professional call center can make this process more efficient than using your existing staff. You can even request to hear the voice recordings with your patients to ensure Medicare compliance. Call centers should have the ability to generate custom reports to identify any possible faults and allow the opportunity to improve various processes within your business. Contacting past clients could lead to implementing new and better ways of improving the overall customer experience and therefore your bottom line. HME

Jennifer Sowards is COO of HME Providers, Inc. Reach her at or 321-267-7576 ext. 222.