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May
29

MedFORCE has applied for a Chase Mission Main Street Grant and we need your help to win! Chase gives away a total of $2m in grants to 20 small businesses that are having an impact on the communities they serve. We have submitted our application and now move into phase two.

 

The next step requires your help! We need a minimum of 250 votes to go before the application review panel. It is very easy – it only requires a Facebook login to vote. Just follow this link and cast your vote for MedFORCE Technologies: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/b/49237

 

While our public profile is rather stark – per the contest’s rules – we did have to answer five essay questions in 200 words or less. We thought this might help you understand more about us, our vision and how this grant can help us better serve communities across the country. The questions and our answers are below.

 

Tell us about your business and what makes it unique. Please provide a general description of your product, customers, competitive landscape and overall performance.

 

MedFORCE Technologies is a 13 year old, woman-owned software company that helps healthcare organizations be more efficient and productive. We digitize and automate operations to elevate employees’ attention back to where it should be: on the patients.  The healthcare industry is in a historic state of upheaval due to the unprecedented size of our aging population, the ACA, and Medicare reform. Margins are shrinking, paperwork requirements are increasing, and individuals have to fight harder than ever for their own medical care. MedFORCE helps healthcare companies do more with less, adapt quickly to change, and better serve their patient population.

 

Our products are customizable, scalable and functional across all aspects of operations, from intake to reimbursement to human resources. We have clients across the spectrum from mom and pop companies to large organizations that must collaborate across departments, locations and external partnerships. Our software suite includes electronic filing and content management, business process management, workflow automation, claims management and other productivity tools. MedFORCE helps customers streamline and standardize operations while providing real time visibility that fuels better decision making. With all of our clients, we take the focus off of pushing papers and put it back on the organization’s mission.

 

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Describe both your greatest achievements and biggest challenges.

 

As a single mother to four children, I was inspired to become an entrepreneur in part to create a work environment that would see each employee as an individual, where we could focus on the work to be done and be human at the same time. I strived to create a company that valued loyalty and made employees feel appreciated for their work. I’m proud of the fact that the MedFORCE culture prizes doing the “right thing” for employees and clients over all else.

 

The other driving entrepreneurial force (and ultimately what led to the founding of MedFORCE) is a constant desire to find the most efficient way of getting things done. The limitations of my employees were rarely inherent in them, but often imposed from an inefficient system.  I was motivated to find a better way to get things done –not to innovate on the margins, but to start from the beginning and build a better system. MedFORCE is structured to allow my employees to focus on human interactions and making nuanced decisions. We use technology to free up time from the rote work to focus on what matters most: our clients and their missions.

 

How is your business involved with the community you serve? Examples include: giving back to the community, sourcing locally and/or contributing to economic development via hiring.

 

There are two ways MedFORCE helps the communities we serve – through the lives of our employees and through the lives of our customers.

 

MedFORCE has offices in Suffern, NY and Topeka, KS. In both areas, we offer jobs where there are limited options. Topeka has a higher unemployment rate than all of Kansas. In Suffern, we provide jobs to people who may not be able to commute to Manhattan due to family commitments. In both locations, we bring a decent livelihood closer to home for our employees.

 

We have an even greater impact on our clients. A large portion of our clients are “mom and pop” companies, who are embedded in and serve their local communities, especially the aging population. The majority of our customers are in the DME/HME space, supplying ailing people with vital equipment such as oxygen, walkers, wheelchairs, and beds.  In an industry marked by consolidation and regulatory requirements that disproportionally affect smaller companies, our ability to help healthcare providers increase efficiencies, save money, expand into new areas, and respond to market changes keeps these small companies open for business and keeps their patients as healthy and lively as possible.

 

What would a $100,000 grant mean to your business and how will you utilize the funds? Please be as specific as possible.

 

A grant would help us have a stronger impact in our communities by enabling us to actively pursue making nursing homes more operationally efficient. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “by 2030 there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000.” Nursing homes are a needed, growing, and vital part of society, helping the elderly get the specialized care they need while staying a part of local communities.  Our process management tools make sure nothing falls through the cracks – from medication adherence to documentation needed to receive Medicare reimbursements – ensuring providers spend less time on repetitive, manual processes and more time focused on patient care.

 

We have a handful of successful nursing home clients and need significant investment to expand. We would use the money to adapt our product to the specific needs of the industry, develop the appropriate awareness of our services, and fund dedicated staff.

  • $30,000 – software development. Build seamless integrations with other nursing home-specific software and pharmacy applications. Adapt product and build add-ons specifically for nursing home workflow.
  • $50,000 – Dedicated salesperson base salary
  • $20,000 – Marketing specifically to senior care communities

 

What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term growth plans for the business? How will this grant contribute to your plan?

 

MedFORCE was built for healthcare, but our platform is intentionally industry agnostic. We have a stronghold in the DME/HME and Specialty Pharmacy fields, and are making confident steps into other areas of healthcare including Home Health, Infusion, Hospitals, and other types of Pharmacies. Our long term growth plan is to diversify our client portfolio throughout all of healthcare, with expertise in process management and a deep knowledge of the individual healthcare fields. Our vision is to have a balanced portfolio that helps us to not only address the needs of individual entities, but become a mission-enabler across entire care networks.

 

In the short-term, we want to expand our reach in the long term care market in two areas: LTC Pharmacies and LTC Facilities (specifically nursing homes). We have a handful of clients in each area, and have seen the need first hand. While all of healthcare is experiencing rapid change, none more so than the organizations that care for our aging citizens. We help companies adapt quickly, cut waste, and do more with less, which is a perfect for elder care organizations. This grant would accelerate our ability to achieve our goal of helping empower senior care facilities.

 

Please visit this link and cast your vote for MedFORCE today! https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/b/49237

 

 

 

 

May
28

Visualize a workplace where best practices are established, work is performed consistently across all departments, and your employees are empowered to maximize their productivity and reach their full potential. Imagine you had the visibility into your operations needed to make effective decisions and improve profitability. If you were able to free up time and money for your mission, where would you spend it?

 

This is an exercise WorkFLOW can make a reality. Our business process management suite of tools helps you design, perform, and manage business processes with the utmost efficiency.

  • Standardize your operations
  • Prioritize work based on strategic objectives
  • Automate processes
  • Make hand-offs seamless
  • Eliminate bottlenecks and avoid duplication of effort
  • Stay on deadline through alerts and escalations
  • Track progress through business analytics and real-time reporting at the touch of a button

 

WorkFLOW is completely individualized for each business and works across your entire organization. It can be used for any and every process from order intake to human resources. Reclaim valuable time and resources to devote to serving your customers with the service and attention they deserve.

 

For more information on how WorkFLOW can change how you do business, please visit our website To schedule a demo, contact our Solution Consultants at 866-237-1190

May
20

Last month we walked you through how to select your first process to map. http://www.medforcetech.com/blog/2015/04/30/selecting-a-process-to-map.  Now that you have a particular area in your sights, the next step is to break it down into its parts. Once it is broken down into its building blocks, you can reassemble it in the most efficient way.

 

Process maps are the visual representation of the work that is done. They contain triggers, assignees, activities, transitions, decisions, escalations, and data/documentation. You must parse out each piece as it currently exists before you can determine the standardized configuration  you will implement in your business process management software.

 

  1. Name the process. Use finite terms to describe the process‘s starting point and end, to keep it a manageable size. Most of your work processes will be interrelated in some way, and it can be easy to keep adding steps, branches and processes until you have boiled the ocean and overwhelm your employees. Start simple.  It is easiest to begin with the end point – What is the process attempting to accomplish? What does success look like? – and then work backwards to a reasonable starting point. Focus on the steps in between for your first process map.
  2. Identify all of the people who will be involved. This step should include internal and external contacts. If internal audiences are within different departments or locations, this should be noted as it may impact escalations. This step will help you define your assignees.
  3. Interview key players individually. Sit down with each person separately, even if their role in the process is redundant. You likely will discover variations in how the work is performed – employees often find their own shortcuts, or differences may appear depending on who trained them. You can use this variation to your advantage by seeing several options and choosing the most efficient procedures.
  4. Ask pointed questions about what happens. You can start by asking someone to describe the process, but it is most helpful to mapping when you ask specific questions:
    • How does a process start (by phone call? Fax? Physician inquiry?)
    • What happens next?
    • What information is needed and who supplies it (patient? physician? internal departments?).
    • This will help you determine all of the activities and needed documentation, and it will help define integrated forms for data entry.
  5. Identify each point where a decision needs to be made. Define what all of the options are, and what the outcomes are for each. These areas are where your process may transition or branch into parallel processes.
  6. Outline the timetable. One of the fundamental tools in workflow automation is setting expected duration of an activity. Sometimes third parties (such as CMS) set the deadlines, sometimes the deadline is a personal priority of your organization, such as informing patients of changes within the first 24 hours. This is another area where it can be easiest to start from the end and work backward. Look first at when it needs to be finished, and assign times to your steps leading up to the completion. Your timetable will determine escalations and inform process refinement in later steps.

 

These six activities should result in an outline of how the process currently works. You can now transfer this to a visual map of the defined process with all of its contained elements: triggers, assignees, activities, transitions, documentation, forms and escalations. Even an initial sketch can help you identify areas for improved efficiency before you codify the process in your business process management software such as duplication of effort or opportunities for automation. Transferring the process from the minds of your employees to paper is a major step in standardizing and optimizing how you operate.

 

Next up, we will talk about best practices in programming your identified workflow and refine it to maximize efficiency. Stay tuned!

 

May
18

The first step is the hardest

As the healthcare industry revolutionizes, providers have no choice but to adapt, evolve and change to stay viable. The advice to implement business process management, achieve lean processes, or enable workflow automation can sound great on the surface – but the HOW can be daunting.  Your business is a complex machine of moving parts, pieces, people, activities, ideas, and decisions. Where do you start?

The answer is easy: start small.

Having helped hundreds of clients cut out operational waste, elevate employees’ focus, and lay a foundation for increased profitability and growth, we know the shift to optimization is best taken in bite-sized chunks.  Once the first process is mapped and perfected, additional ones can be layered on.

Taking it bit by bit, you learn not only the best methods for process mapping, but you also learn surprising nuances of how to best enact change in your specific company. Each new process becomes faster to map and easier to implement. While the revolution in the industry at large may be out of your control, the revolution inside your business happens one step –or one process–at a time.

 

May
11

A big part of the efficiency WorkFLOW delivers to your organization is realized through automating as much work as possible within each task or process. You can improve productivity even further by taking a step back and automating the actual creation of a WorkFLOW task.

There are several ways you can configure your software to generate a new task:

  • Data import from a 3rd party (e.g. from your billing software) or from a native program on your computer (such as Excel).

 

    • Saving a scanned document to a pre-configured bin, regardless of whether the document is indexed manually or auto-filed.

     

      • Email receipt to a defined email address. Any attachments will automatically be linked with the task and the email body will be captured in the task notes.

       

        • On a schedule or calendar basis based on a preset frequency.

         

          • ERN report generation from D&R Manager.

           

          If you need help setting up any of these kinds of task-creation automations, please reach out to Tech Support at support@medforcetech.com or [845] 426-0459 x2.

          Apr
          30

          We all know CMS makes you work hard for your money. There are many contributing factors that make getting the payment you deserve extremely challenging. But what is the most painful part and why? We turned this question out to you. We received 125 responses and the results were very interesting!

          When we asked what kind of communication was the most stressful, most respondents (53%) said Audits and requests for additional documentation (ADRs), but First Level Appeals came in second with 22%.

           

           

          Our second meaty question asked, “What is the toughest part about communicating with CMS?” Understanding the Requirements was the most popular choice at 34% of the answers. A total of 33% were challenged by the actual process, between finding the proper documentation, handling the logistics of submission, and meeting tight deadlines.

           

           

          What was most surprising to us was the high number of respondents who selected “Other” for questions number one and two (15% and 23% respectively). The vast majority of those who went outside of the preset options indicated that the most challenging part of dealing with CMS was their customer service. Several people noted that there can be confusing inconsistencies between CMS employees as well as changes to requirements or interpretation of policies without notification.

          Here are some representative responses we received to the request for more information upon selection of “Other”:

           

          • “One person at CMS telling us one thing. Calling back the same day and talking to another person on staff only to be told something entirely different! Seriously?”

           

          • “It is very difficult to get to a Level 2 for resolution to a denial.”

           

          • “We mail documentation and then get messages back that the FAX did not come through completely.”

           

          • “Dealing with people who don’t read what you send.”

           

          • “The people we talk to ‘read between the lines’; or sometimes seem to make rules up!”

           

          • “Lack of their own understanding between departments”

           

          It sounds to us like CMS could use some best practices, proper documentation and a sound workflow system to assist with escalations!

          Apr
          30

          Selecting a Process to Map

          Congratulations! You’ve decided to institute business process management. It’s an exciting and rewarding journey ahead. But that first step can be intimidating. Picking an appropriate first process to map is critical in building a foundation for success. It will be the process by which your staff is introduced to a new way of doing things, and where the first inklings of a return on your investment will be seen. In most cases, the first process to be mapped, standardized, and refined has a lot to prove. How do you choose the right one?

          One way to go about selecting the first process is to pick one you know really well. It makes sense that this can be a helpful way to learn your workflow automation software with a total focus on the technology and user interface. But it is highly likely that a process you are extremely familiar with has already been optimized. While automation will help you streamline and quicken the pace while ensuring nothing falls through the cracks, there are likely other processes that will deliver an even greater ROI and win over any internal skeptics.

          At MedFORCE, we recommend choosing a process you are currently troubled by as a starting point.

          There are several things to keep in mind when selecting one:

          • Opaqueness. Look for an area of your business you feel you have no control over or little insight into. At any given time you might not know what the status is with any tasks or how activities in the flow impact outcomes. Bringing this flow into the spotlight usually surfaces a lot of opportunities for standardization as well as highlighting the proper analytics for determining success

           

          • Falling metrics. Identify an area that used to hum along but now seems to struggle. There are many factors that could affect this including changes in regulations, requirements or staffing. In this case, it is likely there is an environmental factor that is influencing success. Breaking the process into the various parts and pieces can help you determine how to best adapt the process

           

          • Stagnation. Is there an area in your operations that plays a crucial role in your growth objectives, but you don’t see the improvement you need? The simple task of mapping a process can be eye opening. You will likely identify several steps that can be automated, freeing up your staff’s time and attention to focus on growth

           

          • Impact on profit. Find an area of your business where small changes in output can have a huge effect on your bottom line. These processes will deliver the fastest ROI for your workflow software.

           

          • Bottlenecks. If there is a particular spot in a process where things can easily get hung up, internally or externally, outlining each step will help you identify ways to eliminate or work around the bottleneck. It could mean you need to redirect staff’s focus, change employee responsibility, develop parallel work streams, or front-load work effort. The act of mapping the process can help you come up with new options for solutions.

           

          • Squeaky wheels. Most likely the processes that are at the biggest detriment to your mission are ones your employees already know about. Where people complain the most, there is usually a way to improve how the work is done.

          Regardless if it’s a troubled process or one you know well and clear, once you have targeted a process, we recommend ensuring you have a “bite sized” chunk to begin with. It’s always easier to start small and build from a platform of success. Layering on complexity ensures that each individual task or building block is perfected before adding more. It will also result in the greatest ROI and establish a strong business case to keep your team motivated. Starting your road to workflow automation with an easily-defined but challenging process builds the most solid, tested, and optimized foundation to build your lean operations.

          Apr
          10

          Welcome Tony!

          We are excited to announce Tony Russo has joined our team as a Senior Solution Consultant with a focus on major accounts and new markets. Tony brings nearly two decades of experience working with companies to select and implement game changing technology, especially in the Information Governance industry. He has worked with international corporations as well as professional organizations and government agencies to assist with addressing information governance related challenges including content management, retention, email archiving and supervision, and eDiscovery.

          Tony has previously held positions at MDY Advanced Technologies, CA Technologies, HP Autonomy, CVISION Technologies, and Covertix. We welcome his high energy, strategic thinking, and dedication to always find the right solution for our MedFORCE clients.

          Tony can be reached at arusso@medforcetech.com

          Mar
          25

          Tips & Tricks: Quick Copy

          It’s easy to gather all of the documents you need to respond to an Additional Documentation Request with MedFORCE Scan. Use our Quick Copy option to compile the individual pages you need to create a single PDF for submission.

          To Quick Copy:

          • Locate and view the document you’d like to copy
          • Place your cursor in the gray indexing area between the bins and the document, pointed at the desired destination bin. The cursor should turn into an arrow shape.
          • Right click and select “Copy Document” from the menu.
          • Indicate the number of pages to copy over and select OK.

          Here’s how we suggest using Quick Copy to help collect the support documentation to answer a CMS inquiry:

          1. Start by setting up a destination within MedFORCE Scan to assemble the needed copies. We recommend creating a bin within a Patient File Cabinet called “Audit.”
          2. Locate and Quick Copy individual documents into the Audit bin
          3. Reorder the pages to match the CMS request
          4. Print the entire bin/collection of documents as a single PDF

           

          Mar
          25

          CMS Audit Survey Results

          We were thrilled to see such a great response to our CMS Audits survey. We asked you to help us understand what volume of audits you face on a monthly basis. We received 125 responses with very interesting results that give insight into CMS Audits.

          Over half of respondents (58% total) receive 5 or fewer requests for additional documentation each month, but 14% – that’s 1 in 7 respondents! – must coordinate responses to over 20 requests per month.

           

          Our respondent demographics skewed toward DME/HME providers, with over 80% of the completed surveys coming from that area of the healthcare industry. DME/HME providers were well represented within each level of CMS request volume, with nearly even division across all categories.

          The non-DME/HME providers we heard from came from a range of areas including Home Health, Pharmacy (LTC, specialty, and retail), Orthotics & Prosthetics, Sleep Lab, Nursing Home/Rehab and one Hospital. With the exception of a single outlier, Pharmacy providers received under five CMS requests per month in 2014. This was not entirely surprising as the process for medication reimbursement is heavy on prior authorization, which can reduce auditing concerns later on.

          Only 12% of respondents currently use an esMD solution, while another 6% are actively pursuing engaging one. Over one third of respondents did not know what esMD was. This was the biggest surprise to us – and we urge all of you in this category to look into one, such as ZipMit, to dramatically ease the burden of CMS communications.

          The next survey will take a closer look at CMS communications and where the pain points exist. We hope you will take part. Follow this link and submit your responses before April 17th, 2015 to be included.

          Headquarters
          2 Executive Blvd., Suite 410
          Suffern, NY 10901
          |
          2348 SW Topeka Boulevard
          Topeka, KS 66611
          |

          [845] 426-0459
          Copyright ©2014 MedFORCE Technologies, Inc.