Survival of the fittest

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

NEWINGTON, Conn. - Hudson Home Healthcare is considered one of the best rehab providers in the country - having won an HME Excellence award two years ago - and management aims to keep it that way.

Over the past few months, the independent powerhouse has brought IT and accounting duties in house, all in an effort to reduce costs and become more efficient. The company also has big plans to improve business by revamping its satellite offices.

“Hopefully (Medicare) competitive bidding goes away, and it’s yet to be seen if rehab will be part of it,” said Ed Curley, Jr., marketing /contracts manager. “Either way, people are still going to need specialized providers, and even if you have to change the model, there should be a market for rehab.”

With revenues in the $15 million to $20 million range, and big moves afoot in both its IT and accounting departments, it became more cost-effective to hire full-time employees to perform those functions than to contract them out, Curley said.

On the IT side, the company intends to make significant upgrades to its systems “by investing now to prepare for continued and future cuts to reimbursement,” Curley said. The company plans to upgrade its billing system with technology that will interface more easily with rehab tracking and other software programs. Hudson also intends to implement document imaging as a way to cut down on its document storage and improve access to information, Curley said.

The company’s new financial controller will perform monthly auditing, and analyze and reduce expenses, he said.

Hudson already has begun activities based costing to improve efficiencies in its various business processes, including product assembly and paper work.

In the next 60 to 90 days, Hudson also plans to move its Springfield, Mass., and Stratford, Conn., branches to bigger locations. The company also recently hired an RTS who will service communities in the Boston area, which until now have been beyond Hudson’s service area, Curley said.