Labor Tracker tackles wheelchair repairs

Friday, April 10, 2015

LABADIE, Mo. – Provider Doug Westerdahl and consultant Dick Fuller have partnered to create a new company: HME Labor Tracker. 

The seed for the company was planted four years ago when Westerdahl, president of Rochester, N.Y.-based Monroe Wheelchair, moved Fuller’s labor guides online and used them to eventually double his company’s billings for repairs. 

“Dick knew of our success with the tables and he knew to take his tables to the next level, he needed to digitize,” he said.

The company plans to roll out a web-based version of Fuller’s guides, based on Westerdahl’s design and built by VGM Forbin, in June. 

The tracker, available through a monthly subscription, automates the reporting process and ensures maximum billing for repairs. It also features a “report card” feature, allowing providers to calculate productivity and repairs by service technician, service call, branch and company. Additionally, it displays industry averages, allowing providers to see how they stack up against the competition. 

“For the first time ever, independent providers will be able to see how they’re measuring up on key benchmarks to make sure their company is running well,” said Fuller, president of Richard Fuller Consulting.

Data on industry averages could also have an impact on CMS policy, Fuller says.   

“All we have is one anecdotal story after another,” he said. “This will provide us with statistically valid information to support why we need a separate benefit for complex rehab and to be paid more fairly for actual repairs.”

The tracker can also help providers save money by helping them to spot trends and better anticipate repairs, so that technicians aren’t making as many home visits, says Greg Packer.

“I see Labor Tracker as a product that will revolutionize our industry when it comes to repairs,” said Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group.