As the holidays approach and 2016 comes to a close, I am grateful to still call HME my home. Despite the challenges of the past year, I can say that I have been privileged to visit with many HME providers who are not only surviving, but thriving.
Some of the many best practices I have seen this year are related to finding distinguishing products, payers and services that differentiate one HME business from the rest. Whether contracting for capitated managed Medicaid rates, increasing hospice contracts, enlarging retail presence, adding automated functions that create additional efficiencies and more, the clients with whom I have worked are laser focused on securing their viability in the industry. They are constantly looking for ways to improve, unwavering in their need to grow and become insulated from third party audits and reimbursement issues. In many HME companies, the emphasis has been on developing leaders within the organization, ensuring that the company works to improve its staff productivity and accuracy through tangible goal setting and monitoring in a healthy work environment.
Of the dozens of companies I worked with this year, I noticed a significant increase in the desire to improve company culture. Upon request from many of these providers and others, I created a mentoring program for new and existing leaders to help establish and develop goals in a one-on-one format. Through this regularly scheduled call (weekly/bi-weekly), I learned from key stakeholders how to help them make marked improvement week after week, month after month. By meeting regularly with these core employees, we work together to focus on priority changes, establish goals and monitor results. I am more than impressed by the poise and dedication of these people and their improved skills in a few short months. For example, one of the leaders added a secret shopper project complete with their own Google survey and with the results, they pinpointed how they will enhance customer service. Another company's leader is working with a few select individuals to set goals for themselves and their staff. Through this exercise, they isolated the need to create a structured training program that extends beyond the 90-day probationary period. With each of these leaders, we recapped their 2016 accomplishments and generated a list of their top 3 goals for 2017.
This holiday season, you should do the same. Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments, and take pride in your ability to make positive change. Take a step to look from the outside in at what you want to accomplish in 2017. Work with your colleagues to help them set goals and monitor results. Create standard levels of performance and measure progress. Last, celebrate the win!
Thanks for your business and I look forward to working with you in 2017.