Pandemic prioritizes remote tech

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Monday, June 1, 2020

ATLANTA – The coronavirus pandemic has driven home the need for referral sources to use e-prescribing for HME, says Brightree’s Rob Boeye.

“We’re seeing increased utilization with GoScripts, in particular,” said Boeye, executive vice president, home medical equipment. “In the past, it was hard to get buy-in from physicians. Now with physician offices closed and HME staff working from home, using tools like GoScripts makes complete sense to replace visiting physician offices for paperwork and the endless faxing necessary to collect needed documentation.”

Brightree also works with Parachute Health, Stratice Healthcare and other e-prescribing vendors.

Boeye believes the genie is out of the bottle and increased use of e-prescribing will continue past the pandemic.

“This is a big deal for referral sources,” he said. “It allows those orders to be filled.”

Like the pandemic is pushing physicians to use e-prescribing, it’s pushing HME providers to use mobile apps, as they seek to communicate with patients remotely. Boeye says Brightree has seen a 30% increase in the number of providers using Patient Hub and a 53% increase in the number of patients providing messages through the app.

“We’ve waived any setup and training fees associated with the app,” he said. “We want to get this up and out there.”

Brightree has also developed a web-based portal for Patient Hub, for patients who aren’t comfortable with or don’t want to download an app.

“We’re also exploring new ways to use the app,” Boeye said. “Could it have videos for training (patients on equipment); could it be used for scheduling? If a provider is dropping off equipment, could it send popup reminders that their product is being delivered?”

Telehealth may be the biggest buzzword in remote technology during the pandemic, but it’s unclear how much it will directly impact HME, Boeye says.

“When you think about physicians and home health and hospice—there’s a lot going on there with telehealth,” he said. “Still, when you think about the patient and the continuum of care, if HME providers truly want to be part of that, they need to be involved in all the different ways that the different people who touch that patient are communicating.”