Speaker spotlight: Prepare for perfect storm

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The numbers aren’t surprising. More than 50% of provider CEOs report at least a 25% increase in audits. The average number of full-time employees required just to chase down payments has risen from 1.5 to 2.5. “And these are people who are already using technology well,” says Chris Watson, of Brightree, which conducted a survey of 200 of its provider customers nearly a year ago. Accelerating audits are just one of the “10 ways” Watson says the industry will change dramatically in the coming year, a topic she’ll talk more about at Medtrade. Here’s a preview.

HME News: You claim that the industry will see its “most dramatic changes ever” in 2013. Why?

Chris Watson: When we look at the changing regulatory requirements, reimbursement going down, the threat of competitive bidding—it’s the making of a perfect storm. But many of our customers are looking at the glass as half full. It’s also a perfect storm of opportunities. 

HME: What’s one of the “10 ways” you’ll share?

Watson: The changing dynamics of patient contact. It’s taking into account the patient’s preference for contact, for paying balances, for replenishing supplies. Providers have to have a much smarter system for patient contact management. 

HME: Sure, technology’s important, but are there some low-tech ways to face these changes?

Watson: Look at the concept of ACOs. Providers have to reach out to their healthcare network to cultivate those relationships. It’s up to them to fight for a seat at the table.

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

Watson: To think differently than when they walk in, saying, Maybe it’s time for a change.