HME News Smart Talk Column: "CLINICAL OUTCOMES: DEVELOP REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE"

January 18, 2022



Q. Why are outcomes in the home respiratory care space becoming so important?


A. Health care delivery in the U.S. is rapidly changing with emerging value-based care, accountable care organizations and other at-risk models. Hospitals, physician groups and payers are on the hook for creating better outcomes at a lower cost.


The best way to accomplish this is finding partners in post-acute care who have the willingness and ability to effect change with chronic patient populations. Before 2018, a select few HME providers were early adopters of outcome-based models, focusing on ways to keep patients out of the hospital, tracking readmissions and creating programs around the prescribed equipment that systematically solve problems for patients.


Over the last few years, more and more HME providers have been moving in the direction of adding outcome-based models into their offering.


In the last year, some of the more progressive nationals and many of the regional players are implementing these models as the driving force of their businesses. Relationships have been the key to driving sales for years, but outcomes will play a more pivotal role in winning business in the new health care ecosystem.


One question HME providers have is: How do I get paid? The short answer is, they don’t, not directly. The immediate opportunity is to gain market share by offering an outcome-based service that is unmatched. This builds the business and at the same time builds credibility with referral sources to set up the provider for the future. After you have developed the reputation of clinical excellence, moving into new payment models is much easier. I will discuss these opportunities over the next few months in this column. 


Zach Gantt is CEO at Encore Healthcare. Reach him at zgantt@encorehc.com.