The T word

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10/12/2020

It wasn’t intentional, but nearly every session at the virtual HME News Business Summit in September stressed the importance of providers leveraging technology to not only improve care but also make their businesses more efficient and profitable.

Sure, technology creeps up at the Summit every year and it’s often the focus of a session or two, but never has it so dominated our entire event.

There were sessions at the Summit that I knew would focus on technology, like the keynote by Dr. Jacob Warren of the Mercer University School of Medicine on how telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technology can transform health care in rural areas. Providers in rural areas that leverage technology will have a “unique role to play in increasing care in a way that we haven’t seen before,” he said.

But the topic took a life of its own in other sessions. In “Post-pandemic: The rise of post-acute care,” Luke McGee, CEO of AdaptHealth, didn’t mince words when he said, “We need to be talking about…getting off the damn fax machine” as part of efforts to improve provider margins in an industry under constant reimbursement pressure. McGee walks the talk, here: AdaptHealth is an early adopter of Parachute Health’s e-prescribing platform.

McGee also said providers need to stop “lying to ourselves” that patients don’t want more technology in their lives. He believes it’s a situation where, if you build it they will come. They will download the app. They will use it to monitor their therapy.

In “The view from Wall Street: Wild cards in the fall,” Asim Akhtar, CEO & principal at Sullivan Health Holdings, said investors are putting a premium on providers that leverage technology. “Tech is everything and we have to be paced with the world at large, especially nowadays that everything is virtual,” he said. “It’s huge when you go into a company and evaluate whether to acquire it. If someone has a robust IT system and everything is automated, without a lot of human interaction or errors, that’s just going to drive the value up.”

In “Outlook for 2020 and beyond,” Jim Hollingshead, president, sleep and respiratory care, at ResMed, put it simply: “Adopt the tools.”

Even the format of this year’s Summit leveraged technology, making the event possible amid a global pandemic. Shout out to Go to Webinar and Zoom!

Shameless plug: If you didn’t attend the Summit the week of Sept. 14, you can still register to access the recordings at www.hmesummit.com.