The LaCutes: Focus on delivery, clinical, sales
If we were to start an HME company from scratch, we'd focus on respiratory services. This model would allow us to provide services to the customer throughout their entire disease state. It's a model that has proven to be an industry economic engine and should continue to be one. However, as a new company, we would provide only those services that build value for the customer and that provide a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. These are: service delivery, clinical and sales. We would outsource everything else.
PRODUCT AND PAYER MIX
The focus of our company would be on the following respiratory modalities: oxygen, respiratory medication and PAP therapy. Medicare would be earmarked as the primary payer. Medicaid, commercial insurers and managed care programs would be secondary, with the possibility of increased emphasis on managed care if it continues to grow. The solution would be to offer a disease state management program to address COPD and heart disease, which are among the leading causes of death in the United States. The recent emphasis on the connection between sleep disordered breathing and heart disease will continue to increase the need for PAP therapy.
This company's business process would be based upon its core competencies: customer service, service delivery, clinical and sales. To connect these four core areas, we would contract with an existing healthcare industry application service provider (ASP). The immediate return on investment with this approach would be a fixed cost per month, an integrated solution that can be accessed through the Internet anytime and anyplace and no large up-front capital expenditure. It would, in short, allow us to focus on the business while others focus on turning orders to cash.
MANAGEMENT INFO SYSTEMS
The startup plan will cover the first 36 months of operation. Included would be forecasted revenues, cash flow and P&L statements. In order to allow us to concentrate on our core competencies, and at the same time have a daily snapshot of where we are compared to our plan, we would develop a business dashboard (through the ASP) that would provide order processing, billing and accounts receivable information and any other pertinent information we feel is necessary for efficient operation.
The key to accountability is clear-cut expectations. Based on the business plan, if we are expecting X sales per week, the sales area would be held accountable for achieving that result. An incentive system will be developed that starts with getting the order and ends with collecting the cash and would be customized to each employee's specific role within that continuum.
We'd create a culture that supported our mission of enhancing each customer's quality of life. This would involve a training program for all employees that would not only train them on technical aspects of their position but also on the operating system employed to communicate within and outside of the organization. In other words, how we do things around here. The heart of this system would empower the employee to focus on creating value for the customer.
Age: 54 Company/position: Seeley Medical, CEO Location: Andover, Ohio Background: 29 years in HME, past president of OAMES, current treasurer of AAHomecare's Executive Committee and former chair of association
Age: 26 Company/position: Seeley Medical Background: Worked for Seeley Medical since age 9; will join the company full time after graduating with dual degrees in law and business in May