Homelink expands space, systems

Sunday, January 2, 2005

January 3, 2005

WATERLOO, Iowa -  Homelink, VGM’s managed care division, is expanding into a new 40,000-square-foot wing named in memory of former VGM President Tom Fitzgerald, who died of heart failure Christmas Eve.
Homelink has also recently completed the implementation of an automatic, delivery notification program for customers. Now, instead of manually dialing out to confirm delivery and query patient satisfaction with service, a system designed by Burlington, Mass.-based Silverlink automatically phones customers and asks a series of questions.
“As our referrals continue to grow, we needed to find a bit of relief,” said Homelink spokesperson Mary Nicholas. “If you continuously add staff, you reach a point where you begin to get idle time, but you don’t want so few people that you get so far behind and can’t catch up.”
On a busy day, Nicholas said a core group of Homelink’s 225 employees places about 500 calls. Calls for less sophisticated durable medical equipment -  i.e. commodes, walkers, CPAPs - are managed by Silverlink; Homelink employees place calls on the delivery of more sophisticated items, such as high-end wheelchairs.
Since September, Silverlink has phoned thousands of patients. If the patient prefers, he can press an option to reroute him to a live person during business hours, or a voice mailbox for a callback.