LifeH2H: ‘People serving people’

Making personal connections propels runner-up
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. – At its heart, home medical equipment is a person-centered business and the best companies, like Columbia, SC-based LifeH2H, never forget it.

“Our creed is ‘People Serving People,’ which is a responsibility we feel across our entire platform—fellow employees, patients, referral sources, payers and our community,” said Dewey Roof, president and CEO. “This creed is embodied in everything we do and we are confident the people we interact with are aware of our intentional effort to demonstrate it.”

While there are many overt obstacles—such as competitive bidding and incessant RAC audits—for HME providers to overcome, one that doesn’t get much attention is the difficulties they experience with referral sources. But for LifeH2H, the traditional referral pattern “was at the root of so many problems,” Roof said.

“It’s really a ‘domino effect’ that sets an HME on an unfair, predetermined path,” he said.

Some referral sources place heavy compliance demands on the provider without considering the labor and product costs involved, as well as disregarding whether a patient is qualified or funded, Roof said.

“As uncomfortable as it was, we changed who we did business with years ago and only pursued business from those referrals who were willing to have a more mature, logical, and progressive discussion about a much larger picture,” he said. “Discussions moved from nurses and case managers to directors, vice presidents and the C-Suite, as we used hard data to demonstrate our discharge efficiencies, enhanced compliance rates and lower readmissions.”

Operationally, LifeH2H reversed the intake process and put it all on the front side of the order process, using software to prevent non-compliant orders from being taken. This process has allowed the company to be fully compliant and collect 90% of each dollar, rather than “being ‘mostly’ compliant’ and only collecting 80%,” Roof says.

“Once we got to this place we felt fundamentally sound and now have the ability to scale,” he said.

Roof says the ultimate goal is “doing it right the first time.”

“Admittedly, we have different levels of integration with different referral sources,” he said. “This results in different levels of efficiencies. But ultimately, a higher level of discussion allows for more efficiencies, better compliance, and better outcomes.”