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Snippets from the Summit

Snippets from the Summit

I had two super interesting conference calls this week with the speakers for two panel discussions at the HME News Business Summit—one on big data; the other on life after the deal.

I'm really wowed by the experience and the knowledge of these speakers, and I think you will be, too.

A little bit of background, in case you haven't poured over the education program for this year's Summit like I have. The session on big data will address 1.) the trend of analytics in health care at large and 2.) how HME providers can use analytics to direct their businesses. The session on life after the deal will examine the opportunities—and challenges—of merging with or acquiring another company.

Big data

I think this session is going to challenge a lot of the providers in the audience.

Panelist Chris Kindard, formerly of QS/1 and now with Long's Home Medical, pointed out that most providers are on top of activity-based costing by now (thanks in part due to competitive bidding). But he wants providers to think about where to go from there.

“How do we use historical data to really understand who our patients are?” he says. “It's about more than just saying, 'We have X number of oxygen patients.' Who is the patient? What is their diagnosis? What's their treatment of care? How do we keep them out of the hospital? That's about more than just providing a piece of equipment.”

Panelist Steve Andrews of Brightree pointed out that analytics can help providers, whether they're a contract supplier or a non-contract supplier, answer the questions that keep them up at night.

“If I'm in a competitive bidding area and I just lost half of my business, do I reinvent myself as a subcontractor, do I just focus on non-bid areas or non-Medicare payers?” he says.

In a nutshell: How can analytics and the information providers already likely have in their current software platform help them make data-driven decisions?

Life after the deal

I think this session is going to surprise a lot of the providers in the audience.

The one thing that each of the speakers for this panel discussion kept talking about was the people- and culture-related issues associated with merging or acquiring another company.

You may have crunched all the numbers there are to crunch financially during a due diligence process, but do your management and their management share the same business philosophy? Will the acquired company be able to transition to your corporate culture, to your systems and procedures, to your HR functions?

“Everything needs to be addressed,” says panelist Paul Bergantino of Numotion. “No matter how you wave your magic wand, it's a process. You can't rush it.”

Adds panelist Nathan Feltman of Home Health Depot, “The hard work really begins after the acquisition. You need to make sure you're mindful of the resources that you may need to bring to bear to be successful.”

To register for the Summit, Sept. 8-10 at the Four Seasons in St. Louis, click here.


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