Seminars focus on employee education

Friday, August 31, 2007

As the competitive bidding era blows in, HME providers need to hang on to their assets, especially the human capital that drives a company's performance.
With the prospect of significantly lower Medicare revenues tied to a "winning" bid, it has become imperative for providers to comprehensively assess their operations in order to see how well all the pieces fit together. That includes evaluating each position and its productivity output.
That's why Medtrade has assembled a slate of seminars focused on staff development, training and retention. With personnel becoming increasingly paramount to an organization's success, HME owner/operators need to review staffing issues from a variety of angles, says Alison Cherney, president of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Cherney & Associates.
"With providers facing a potential 20% reduction in revenues, they need to 're-order' their operations--completely rethinking everything they do," said Cherney, who will lead a program called "The Top 10 Things Sales People Blow in Front of Customers and How to Fix Them." "You need to make smarter decisions and have procedures that make everything more effective. When you have price compression, you have to narrow how everything is done."
Reviewing staff policies and procedures isn't necessarily limited to trimming jobs or across-the-board expense reductions. It also means instituting measures for recruiting and retaining top-performing employees, said Ana McGary, senior vice president with Atlanta-based CareCentric. She will host a program titled "Employee Benefits as a Recruiting and Retention Tool."
"It is getting harder and harder to retain employees, and if you don't offer decent benefits they will go elsewhere," she said. "And while it is hard for smaller independent companies to offer the same caliber of benefits as national corporations, if you think creatively you can find the right brokers and the right packages to offer. Trade associations can be a big help on this--even five-person companies can get discounts."
Augusta, Ga.-based consultant Mike Davis will offer advice on "Basic Resource Issues That Will Help with Profitability and Accreditation." The nuts-and-bolts session will show attendees how to take a critical look at salary dollars and turnover percentages versus the lost productivity of hiring another employee.
"The crux of the issue is being profitable and competitive with other companies," he said. "Control what you can--hiring, developing, selecting people based on abilities and the job you want them to perform. That means implementing a productivity tracking system on the quality and quantity of functions that need to be done."