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Software company brings new efficiencies to medical supply vendors

 

MedAct

 

Software company brings new efficiencies to medical supply vendors

 

Carolyn Poirot

Special to the Business Press

 

A McKinney software producer that helps medical equipment companies operate more efficiently, get paid more quickly and save money on things like inventory and audits for more than 20 years is expanding services to provide an easy way to look at all the pieces of the workflow process.

MedAct Software is introducing its “Business Manager” for companies that sell and service durable medical equipment such as walkers, power wheelchairs, oxygen therapy equipment and diabetic testing supplies for in-home patient care.

The timing may is good for an industry now beset by Medicare and Medicaid cuts that is reducing some of its services and products because of the crunch on its profit margins. 

MedAct software is used for processing claims, keeping track of patient records and inventories and billing electronically. It gives HME/DME (home medical equipment/durable medical equipment) companies immediate access to information needed to manage their companies online.

With MedAct Business Manager, even small DME companies will be able to organize data in different ways so that they can immediately see where bottlenecks slow transactions, who the best payers are, which products sell best and where they can lower their costs, said Gregg Timmons, MedAct’s president and CEO.

“It gives you immediate insight into where you can grow, where you can tighten up,” Timmons said. “It will be a very, very strong tool to make your business more productive and more efficient. …

“It’s all about being more efficient and more effective,” he said.

MedAct Software was founded as Dynamic Energy Systems in 1982. Timmons has headed the company since September 2009.  He joined MedAct from BorderWare Technologies, where he led worldwide sales, marketing and products efforts as executive vice president.

The market for business analytics software is bounding, as executives become attuned to the amount of information that can be gleaned and learn how to use it, according to a 2012 report by analyst firm IDC, based in Massachusetts.

The report, Market Analysis: Worldwide Business Analytics Software 2012–2016, found that the worldwide market for business analytics software grew 13.8 percent in 2011 and is expected to keep that pace for the coming years. Cloud data storage and other new approaches are helping drive the growth.

Of the three primary segments of the market, the data warehousing platform software segment grew the fastest, by 15.2 percent, according to IDC. That was followed by the segment involving analytic applications, which grew at 13.3 percent, and BI and analytic tools, 13.2 percent.

MedAct Business Manager is in beta testing and was previewed at the Medical Equipment Suppliers Association spring conference in Dallas on Feb. 28. It will be generally available in mid-March.

We asked Timmons about the MedAct Business Manager, and he said:

“MedAct Business Manager is a business analytics solution that operates with the MedAct business management software application and is a SaaS cloud-based service. Business Manager is built on an industry-tested predictive analytics engine and aggregates data from multiple sources such as the MedAct database and Quickbooks, offering a 360-degree view of an HME/DME business. It is easy to use and navigate via standard Web browser and delivers clear and concise data visualizations empowering business managers to analyze key business drivers so they can focus on ‘measuring what matters.’”

MedAct software changes and evolves to help companies deal with the changing health care market and with legislation governing that market, particularly Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it affects Medicare.

The biggest issue for small and large HME/DME companies across the country right now is the Medicare bidding program, which is forcing a lot of layoffs and even causing some long-term companies to go out of business, Timmons said. That, in turn, is causing delays in getting critical home care equipment to the people who need it.

“It’s a threat to patient care,” he said. “There were about 3,000 providers. Now there are less than 900.”

In efforts to lower costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instigated the bidding program after finding some fraud and abuse in South Texas and Florida several years ago. When the new bidding program started in 2011, CMS announced cuts of 32 percent in Medicare Part B reimbursements on medical equipment and supplies through a program that Medicare beneficiaries rely on to keep them in their homes and out of the hospital.

In January, CMS said the government expects to save an average of 45 percent in reimbursements when the program is expanded to an additional 91 metropolitan areas this summer.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington was one of nine metropolitan areas where Round One of the competitive bidding program launched in January 2011. Timmons said additional cuts could be devastating not only to HME/DME companies but also to seniors and people with disabilities who depend on Medicare Part B for medical equipment, prosthesis, orthotics and supplies.

“Some DME companies, in some parts of the country, are no longer offering services and products to Medicare beneficiaries,” he said.

The market is going to get even tighter with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 and qualifying for Medicare every day, Timmons said.

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