HMS shares CPAP success

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HOUSTON-- Health Management Services has had so much success with its software program for CPAP supply replenishment that it has begun offering the service to other providers.

The program notifies HMS when CPAP patients are eligible for new supplies like masks, filters and hoses. Employees then call patients and evaluate whether they need supplies or not. If they do, HMS ships orders; if they don’t, their names pop up again in a few months.
Now HMS also calls on the patients of other providers. It ships orders to a patient’s home in boxes with the name and contact information of his provider. All providers have to do: Buy their supplies from HMS (that’s where it makes its money) and bill Medicare.

“As a provider, our revenues would be hurting without this program,” said Jason Holzman, general manager of HMS. “With the 9.5% cut and national competitive bidding, we thought it would be a good way for other providers to increase revenues without necessarily adding cost.”
In business since 1989, HMS serves about 55,000 to 60,000 CPAP patients from its nine branches in Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Virginia, Mississippi and Puerto Rico. In 2007, it billed Medicare for $822,780, making it the second largest sleep provider in the country.

By allowing HMS to replenish CPAP supplies, providers don’t have to develop their own software program, hire employees to call patients or keep masks and other supplies in stock, Holzman said.

While there are already programs out there that allow providers to manage their resupply business, they don’t streamline reorders (patients must call the provider), and they use automated systems, Holzman said.

“We have six people in our call center making calls,” he said. “Everything’s done by humans.”