Technology gives Geneva Woods leg up

Friday, September 26, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Geneva Woods is navigating some rugged terrain in its quest for success. And that’s not a reference to the pharmacy provider’s service territory, which includes vast swaths of wilderness in Alaska, Montana and Wyoming.

Based in Anchorage, the company combines pharmacy, infusion, mobility and respiratory categories, serving patients in remote, heavily wooded areas. Managing that range of services and geography requires special category expertise, logistics prowess and operational efficiency. 

For President Dan Afrasiabi, it all came down to looking at the business in a new way.

“My background is in different businesses, from technology and software to data analytics,” he said. “I questioned every basic assumption that was the basis of this business. There is a great reluctance in this industry to try new things. But if you’re still doing things the way people did in the 80s, you’re not doing it the right way.”

WIP it

By working with Atlanta-based Brightree to improve its IT capabilities, Geneva Woods has a panoramic cyber-view of operations, from intake to billing. The process is called WIP: work in progress.

“There are too many legacy systems in this business that prevent you from having a company-wide view of a patient’s status,” Afrasiabi said. “Brightree connected all our processes by developing WIP states. We can look at every claim and know which WIP state is in for sales, collections, responses, audits, write-offs and stop holds. That has resulted in significantly improved metrics around revenues across every category.”

GO for it

Workplace professionalism is another priority at Geneva Woods, Afrasiabi said. The company keeps all services in-house, including long-distance deliveries to residents of the back country.

“We don’t outsource anything,” he said. “And we have high standards. The word ‘drivers’ is banned from our vocabulary—we have GO techs.”

GO (Geneva One) techs drive trucks equipped for every contingency, including automated ordering devices that store orders internally when wireless networks aren’t available and send them out as soon as a signal is detected.

By bundling services together under one umbrella and fully utilizing information technology, the Geneva Woods model creates unprecedented operational efficiencies, Afrasiabi says.

“It was difficult and complicated at first, but once we made it part of our DNA, it created an advantage,” he said.