Take it to the bank


There are three excellent panel discussions at the HME News Business Summit this year (It’s Sept. 7-9 at The Marquette Hotel, so there’s still time to register!).

I touched on these panels in a previous blog.

But I wanted to give you a better idea of where we’re headed with the panels on partnerships and strategic planning.

Where does HME fit in?

For the panel on partnerships, we’ll have four HME providers talking about how they’ve been able to further embed themselves in the continuum of care. They’re prepared to answer questions like:

*What are your outlooks and perceptions (either real or perceived) on the role of HME plays in the healthcare landscape in terms of providing solutions vs. simply providing products?

*How have these partnerships changed how other healthcare providers view your company and what you do?

*Why have you made partnerships part of your business plan?

*Who are the healthcare providers out there to build relationships with? What healthcare providers have you had the most success with?

*How have you been able to build partnerships with other healthcare providers? How do you open doors at a hospital system or a nursing agency? Do you get outside help?

*Who are the key contact points at the hospitals/facilities/providers with whom you work with?

*What’s the business case for these partnerships: What are you looking to get out of it? What are they looking to get out of it? Who shares in the risk?

*Is there a way to monetize these partnerships? What are some non-traditional sources of funding, such as grants?

*What kind of investments are involved in building these partnerships? What capital and labor investments are involved?

*What are the advantages and disadvantages of these partnerships?

*What has been the impact of competitive bidding on whether you’ve sought out partnerships and how you’ve built these partnerships?

*What has been the impact to your referrals sources and overall business as a result of an increased physician/hospital/system integration and/or alignment?

*How do partnerships open the door to other payers, such as managed care companies?

What’s your strategy? 

For the panel on strategic planning, we’ll have three HME providers talking about how they take a systematic approach to overcoming the challenges and leveraging the opportunities in the industry today. They’re prepared to answer questions like:

*Give us an example of an issue or challenge that you have tackled with strategic planning.

*Why did you use a strategic plan?

*How far into the future did you plan? One year or multiple years?

*How did you communicate your strategic plans to employees? How well was it received?

*Did you use a particular planning mode? How well did it work?

*What metrics/methods did you use to measure performance?

*What results did you expect to achieve? Did you achieve them? Explain.

*What’s the best way to stimulate strategic thinking?

·      What was the worst thing that happened in the past year? What must happen to fix it?

·      What was the best thing that happened in the past year? What do you need to do to make it a repeatable experience?

*How do you get input from as many employees as possible on current issues in your company as part of assessing your current situation? Does this help with staff buy-in?

*What have you learned from your experience of formalized planning?

*What do you think are the potential consequences for an HME company deciding to do nothing?

Who wouldn’t want to know the answers to these questions? It’s information you can take to the bank.