Musings from MHA Business Summit
April 17, 2017
At the end of March, we attended the MHA Business Summit for the 3rd year. Focused on LTC, specialty and infusion pharmacy, MHA is known as a tremendous resource for companies small and large who are trying to work smarter, improve patient care, and be more successful.
When our team returned from the show, they related several themes that rose to the top with their conversations with pharmacy providers.
- Billing remains complex and challenging to navigate.
Especially for those who operate in a B2B environment where they are invoicing care facilities, the steps that need to be accomplished to get reimbursement can be as extensive as what it takes to coordinate and deliver the products and services in the first place.
Nursing homes are notoriously particular about how they get bills and can request a lot of detail on the invoice, such as the floor the patient is on, or request a specific frequency , such as weekly, monthly, or by delivery. These specifics can vary by facility, so it requires a lot of manual effort by LTC pharmacy providers. Detailed process management is critical to avoid delays and ensure fast reimbursement.
- Service reigns over pricing.
In most cases, pricing is standardized, so what sets one Pharmacy provider apart from another is all about service and relationship building. Informed and empowered employees, fast turnaround times, on-time delivery, customized billing, and excellent communication go a long way in building lasting partnerships. Having centralized record keeping and maintaining complete files that are easily accessible to all is critical to enabling customer service teams to respond quickly and appropriately.
- Vendor management is as important as customer service.
If providers get focus only on patients, and don’t tend to their own operation’s wellbeing, and it could spell trouble for the bottom line. Vendor management from contract negotiations to invoice management is an important piece of the profitability puzzle.
Often the level of detail you need is not available in your accounting software. A workflow management tool that is focused on vendor relations can be incredibly useful in maintaining visibility and control you need. It can bridge the gaps between multiple software applications and provide perspective into your cash flow liabilities that may sneak up on you.
It’s a mistake to think that providing customized service requires additional manual effort. Technology can remove the non-value-added busy-work, automatically assign tasks based on strategic priority, and offer intuitive workflow tools to control each process and ensure all work is complete, accurate, and delivered on time. It will allow your employees to focus on what matters most in building strong relationships with your suppliers and your customers.
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