Jeffrey Boyd: Hire extraordinary employees

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In building the perfect home medical equipment company, I would begin by hiring people who bring something extraordinary to the job, such as deep industry experience or great sales contacts. My company would focus on DME and respiratory. I would begin with one location, which would allow me to establish a foundation of administrative services and lay the groundwork for future expansion. My company would be in rural America, the last geography expected to be impacted by national competitive bidding.
The primary products would be respiratory, (oxygen concentrator, CPAP, BiPAP and nebulizers) and HME (hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes). This traditional product mix is still a good foundation to build a company on. My primary payers would be non-managed care, cash, Medicare, private insurance and Medicaid. My limited experience with managed care is mostly negative. If managed care becomes more of an issue, my plan allows for flexibility to adapt to new payer environments.
I would also include a service/maintenance component. In light of the recent capping of reimbursement for oxygen concentrators, there may be a market niche here.
Business processes run smoothly and efficiently when monitored regularly by management and when employees are encouraged to suggest how to improve the system. The key to an effective business process is educated employees, ease of process and accountability. My initial patient intake would be accomplished by a customer service representative, keyed in to generate appropriate delivery paperwork, as well as the CMNs or physicians orders (PO). Delivery paperwork would be routed to the delivery personnel. Upon completion of delivery, the CMN or PO would be logged/tracked and sent to the physician for completion.
I will be vitally involved in the day-to-day operations and sales. I'll also scrutinize my P&L statement. From that, I can identify income and expense problems. If there are income problems, I will look at the delivery/pick-up report and CMN/PO tracking report. These will identify the problems as sales or customer service issues. If there are expense problems, I will look at each category of expense to determine where I am having trouble. Additional information can be culled from the daily vehicle logs. I'll review these to determine number of stops per day, number of miles driven per day and average time per stop.
Each area (sales, CSR, delivery, clinician and billing) has goals, and I'll monitor how well these are met. Within each area, individual goals are measured by job descriptions. For example, sales goals include the number of new set ups per month, the number of new client sales calls per day and the number of existing client sales calls per day. When goals are not met, the employee disciplinary policy begins. The problems also could be addressed as part of the employee's annual evaluation.
By encouraging individual decision making and allowing all employees' voices to be heard, we will empower employees to make a difference in the lives of our patients. After adequate mentoring, do not always answer every question that employees have. Rather, ask them how they would handle the issue. Then affirm their response. If their reply is wrong, correct and explain why you would do it differently.


Jeffrey Boyd
Age: 42 Company/position: Boyd's Family Home Medical, owner Location: South Charleston, W. Va. Background: Grew up in a family owned DME and respiratory company, served as board director of NAMES, past president of West Virginia Medical Equipment Suppliers Association