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Do you have the door wide open to write-offs?

Do you have the door wide open to write-offs?

“We're going to have to write this off.” A phrase that no manager wants to say or hear in their business. Unfortunately, many HME companies still use paper-based systems to track patient documentation and forms, which opens the door for write-off risks.

With paper comes the potential for lost documents and human error. Below are the top three pain points providers regularly experience using paper-based systems and how switching to an electronic system can alleviate risk and avoid a write-off.

#1: Do my serial numbers match up?

Serial numbers are a source of write-offs for providers as sometimes the numbers are not correctly translated from equipment to paper, or from paper to the computer database. A seven could look like a one, or is that a five or six? Knowing exactly what equipment a patient received is crucial and your billing software may not allow for an order to be confirmed unless the serial number is reconciled.

To avoid having to write-off a claim because of a serial number error, consider electronically scanning serial numbers and barcodes for equipment delivered to a patient. Capturing serial numbers by scanning lets you correctly identify what serialized items are at a patient's house and which pieces are on the trucks. Additionally, by using a mobile device to scan in the equipment, the software can auto-sync with the inventory management system to ensure item location records are accurate.

#2: Where is that document I need to file?

When paperwork shuffles between the patient, delivery technician and biller, there's a chance a document can get lost or filed incorrectly within a document management system. That one missing document could be exactly what's needed to file a claim with the insurance company for payment. Waiting for a missing document can be costly and result in denials or write-offs for past-timely filing.  

Eliminate the need for technicians to revisit patients to fill out a second form or billers to search through piles of paperwork or document management systems by using an automated electronic process. A synchronized system between fleet software and document management platforms allows for instantaneous transfers of delivery documents from technicians to billers the moment the delivery is complete. HME providers can erase the risk of lost documentation by automating the delivery process and, therefore, reducing write-offs and increasing revenue.

#3: Are we prepared for an audit?

The dreaded audit! One area of the business that can be highly scrutinized is showing proof of delivery. Medicare states very strict guidelines as to what constitutes proper proof of delivery and an electronic mobile delivery management system can ensure every delivery made has a compliant proof of delivery complete with signature and date. And in the competitive marketplace, it is critical for providers to ensure they are in good standing with Medicare, insurance companies, accrediting bodies and other government agencies, enabling their business to grow. Failing audits is not an option.

A delivery logistics management system that has dispatching and in-field tracking systems in place allows providers to guarantee there is a log of every delivery made at the exact time and also captures what was delivered along with the proper documentation. With an electronic log of the entire process, managers can avoid the stress of preparing for an audit with confidence knowing all information is captured in the system.

Write-offs or missed business because of paper-based systems can be avoided entirely by investing in software and moving to automated processes for delivery and documentation. Gone are the days of using paper because “that's the way it's always been done.” Companies that are looking to remain competitive and eliminate risks in their business are making the switch to relying on technology and are reaping the bottom line benefits.

Aimee Swope is the customer success manager at Apacheta Corp. For more information, please visit



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