Customer comments

Monday, September 19, 2011

SUNRISE, Fla. – HME providers know consultant Louis Feuer best for his energetic appearances at industry events, where he doles out sales, marketing and customer service advice. Now he also has something tangible to offer them.

Feuer recently launched a new service called MedComment Center, a system that allows HME providers to automate the process of gathering, summarizing and analyzing customer surveys. To meet accreditation requirements, providers must survey their customers.

“Medicare doesn’t really care what’s on the survey as much as they care that, one, you’re listening to your customer, and two, you’re using what you find out in performance improvement,” said Feuer, founder of Dynamic Seminars & Consulting. “Most providers do the surveys, but I don’t know if they have the data to make improvements. They may have 50 surveys, but they don’t know what’s a trend or not. With this system, they can do it all.”

Here’s how the system works: HME providers direct their customers to a personalized website created by MedComment Center and ask them to take the appropriate survey. There are three HME-specific surveys, all developed by Feuer himself: retail customer, referral source or patient/caregiver. The system emails the results to the provider.

West Lakes Medical in West Des Moines, Iowa, signed up for MedComment Service in September. The HME provider looks forward to replacing its haphazard system for gathering customer feedback, and improving the amount and quality of the survey responses it receives.

“In the past, we’ve asked them to fill out surveys right in the store, or we’ve sent it home with them and asked them to send it back,” said Amy Massey, HME business manager. “We’ve also mailed the surveys out with self-addressed stamped envelopes. The return was never very good and the response was so sporadic that it was hard to use it for performance improvement.”

West Lake Medical plans to add the URL for its personalized website created by MedComment Center on the business cards of its staff and on all of its literature and brochures. After the system is in place a few months, it plans to review the survey results during its monthly operations team meetings.

“Everyone from the financial officer to the medical director attends these meetings,” said Pat Reeves, director of home medical equipment. “It will be nice if someone says, ‘We received a positive or negative comment about this,’ and we can just pull it up online.”

The cost of the MedComment Center: A one-time set-up fee of $99 and annual subscription fee of $299 for the first location; $49 and $269, respectively, per additional location. Special pricing is available for providers with 10 or more locations.

“Our own customer feedback has been great,” Feuer said. “We haven’t gotten any complaints.”