MED maximizes sleep biz

Sunday, February 27, 2011

LUBBOCK, Texas - Darlene Weeks could not be happier with The MED Group's efforts to help members boost their sleep business.

Last spring, MED began rolling out its multi-faceted "Maximizing Your Sleep Business" program, which, among other things, helps members monitor their own performance and benchmark themselves against each other. A key goal: Boost referrals by improving patient compliance and satisfaction, said Kelly Riley, director of MED's National Respiratory Network.

That's certainly been the case for Care Medical, a five-location HME in Georgia where Weeks is vice president of clinical services and sales. For the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2010, Care Medical's sleep business jumped 8.5% over the same quarter in 2009.

"It has defined everything for us," she said. "I have a saying that is famous with my staff because they hate hearing it: 'I cannot manage what I can't measure.' I couldn't measure before."

Now she measures a bunch of things. For example: How many patients need a mask replacement; how many patients complain of mask irritation; which respiratory therapists get called back for the most refits; and which masks have the lowest return rates.

"It not only lets me know what masks seem to be working, but if I have four therapists who are having success with a mask and one therapist who is not, maybe it's not the mask that is not working. Maybe it's that I haven't done my job training my staff."