Re-admissions: Take a leadership position

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Starting in 2015, hospital systems will face tough new regulations designed to reduce re-admissions of COPD patients, and HME providers can be highly influential in achieving that goal. So why not approach referral sources now, says Thomas Williams, and take a leadership position in a re-admission solution? Williams is a sales and marketing consultant who's worked in both HME and hospital management and who will speak at Medtrade Spring. Here's a preview. 

HME News: How do you suggest that HME providers take the lead in preventing re-admissions? 

Thomas Williams: Take the charge. Be proactive in trying to coordinate: "Is there a way we can help you? We take care of these patients every day." You have to answer, who cares and who pays? The ones who pay are the CEO and CFO, so you have to call higher than the case manager into other areas of the hospital. 

HME: Why do re-admissions usually occur? 

Williams: The most common reason is poor self-management. They don't have transportation for follow-up, or they just don't go. Maybe they keep smoking or they don't get their meds refilled. They go to the ER and the doctor doesn't know about their previous care, so they admit them. There's a system design that has to change. 

HME: What should the provider's role be?

Williams: The HME provider is the eyes and ears of the patient at home. They can educate the hospital-based RTs, suggest equipment, evaluate the patient's home, educate the patient about their disease. 

HME: What do you hope providers take away from your session?

Williams: To be informed about the issue and be proactive in differentiating their company and being a valuable resource. It's not about "Give me another referral" but about "I'm here to help coordinate a plan to help a problem you might not even know you have."