2016: The year of numbers


The February issue that we kick out the door later this week is the pre-show issue for Medtrade Spring. The March issue that we’ll be working on next week: the show issue.

Didn’t we just turn the page to 2016? Why are we already talking about the March issue and Medtrade Spring? Ah, the perils of print publishing, which requires you to work months ahead of time.

We’ll have Q&As with speakers in the March issue to drum up interest in the educational program at Medtrade Spring. The three speakers we focused on are giving presentations on outcomes, disease management programs for COPD and M&A activity.

What do they all have in common? Numbers.

Dewey Roof of Life H2H and Katherine Royster of Philips Respironics argue that HME providers need to have data in their pockets that show what they’re doing is improving care, which keeps patients out of hospitals, which reduces overall healthcare spend, etc., etc., etc.

Roof builds on that familiar rhetoric by saying: “Readmissions is the hot number, but a growing one is extended length of stay. Every hour spent in a hospital means they have to staff a hospital, so anywhere an HME provider can help facilitate a discharge, you can help them save money.”

Royster challenges providers to step up their game by saying: “They can expand their use of data. For example, risk-scoring algorithms make it possible for HMEs to identify potentially noncompliant patients and connect with RTs and patient support staff to adjust treatment as needed.”

The message: Just collecting data won’t cut it anymore. You have to collect more data and you have to do more with it.

Bradley Smith of Vertess looks at the importance of numbers from another perspective, saying, “There are two different camps, those who don’t currently have economies of scale and those who do. If you’re under the threshold of sustainability, in terms of revenue, you most likely need to merge with someone else to grow. On the other side of the equation, if you’re big enough, you can grow more efficiently and inexpensively by acquisitions.”

Smith doesn’t mince words: For the numbers to work in your favor, you must grow, whether you’re a small company or a big company.

Read the March issue for the full interviews.