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by Mike Lorenz, Vice President of Brightree ReSupply

As the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic ebb and flow through the pandemic’s later stages, many sleep therapy HME businesses continue to encounter one stubborn challenge: shortages in the labor market. Hiring and retaining employees has become a dreaded task across industries over the past year. Constantly posting job announcements, conducting interviews, and meeting new expectations for pay and benefits has become cost-prohibitive for many businesses, all while slow-downs in order processing and patient communication from having too few staff on the ground cause continued struggles.

Resupply of sleep therapy equipment has historically relied on multiple employees completing complex tasks to get orders out the door. The tight labor market has made the process even trickier. Fortunately, automated, no-touch resupply solutions are available for HME businesses, removing the need for manual data entry tasks to fulfill patient orders. This means hiring less employees and directing your existing staff toward more important goals – like providing excellent patient care. More importantly: software automations can improve patient loyalty and save you money in the long run.

What does automated resupply software for HME companies do?

Resupply automations allow sleep therapy equipment providers to send equipment orders to patients using zero employee labor. By engaging with efficient and reliable software designed specifically for HME/DME companies, patients can place orders for supplies and receive them quickly – without any roadblocks created by manual employee actions. Plus, these sophisticated software systems’ intelligent data storage capabilities ensure that payers and providers receive all necessary documentation to guarantee payment and verify compliance with any related regulations.

But what does automating the resupply workflow really do for your business at a higher level? Let’s take a look.

Reduce expenses upfront

Not only are employees difficult to bring on board in 2021, but increased salary expectations and the cost of high employee turnover is busting plenty of budgets across industries. By implementing an automated resupply process, you reduce your expenses to the singular cost of the software service itself. No more hourly pay rates, overtime, and other associated costs of hiring more staff for your team. Additionally, digital automations eliminate the need to purchase paper, ink, and other office filing supplies required for managing physical documents and mailings.

Increase revenue by improving performance

At the end of the day, the real financial benefit you’ll see from automating resupply for sleep therapy patients comes from improving your overall performance in fulfilling patient orders. HME providers that switch from manual workflows can execute more orders in a shorter amount of time. When automation software connects patient orders and documents directly with the warehouse, the equipment can often go out the same day that a patient places an order (depending on current shipping availability). Here’s what a typical automated workflow might look like:

  1. By using the patient data like current prescriptions, previous orders, and insurance information already stored in the platform, the software system sends an electronic notification to a patient to let them know that they are eligible for a resupply.
  2. The patient completes a few simple actions via an app or web portal to place their resupply order. The software generates the order without any employee entry, including by soliciting answers to questions required by the payer.
  3. The software sends the order directly to the warehouse and forwards any confirmation info or tracking numbers to the patient.
  4. An invoice for the order is automatically sent through to your billing system.

Notice the instances where slow manual tasks were replaced with time-saving automations? This efficiency allows you to increase revenue by fulfilling more orders. Even more important: timely resupply keeps patients on track with their treatment and can lead to a longer commitment to using your company’s products.

Reduce errors from manual entry

Data acquisition, storage, and analysis is where the muscle behind the software really makes itself known. Automated systems designed for HME companies have unique (and incredible) capabilities when it comes to accurately storing and accessing data entered by patients, providers, or insurers. After a person submits an electronic form or prescription, the software categorizes and stores that data for use in every subsequent automation. You never risk the wrong data being transferred from one form to another because the data is already in an electronic form.

Take this example: The software recognizes that a patient is due for a resupply based on the last time they placed an order. It also recognizes, however, that the patient’s prescription stored in the system has expired. The software automatically sends a digital request to the provider for a new prescription. The provider fills out the prescription and sends it back through the software (via fax or ePrescribe). Once the software receives it, a notification is sent to the patient and the order is swiftly generated. Not once was a third party required to enter or transfer data – eliminating the possibility of manual entry errors and speeding up the process exponentially.

Improve patient satisfaction & loyalty

One fear that HME companies may have when considering automated software is losing the “customer service” aspect of their business. Here’s the thing: patients now have vastly different expectations that patients even 10 years ago.

With the Amazon model of fast, accurate shipping service driving changes across consumer markets, patients want to be served similarly by their healthcare providers. You can improve patient satisfaction by allowing patients to choose their preferred method of communication from among a variety of digital options (text, e-mail, mobile apps, etc.). With these tools, patients feel more in control of their treatment and are more likely to stick with a therapy when they can quickly and easily order the equipment they need. No more unanswered voicemails, long waits for snail mail to arrive, or scheduling in-person visits more than is necessary.

And remember – automations don’t eliminate your team’s ability to care for your patients personally. Think of it this way:

Automation software makes complex decisions for you based on data. Humans handle person-to-person patient care to build relationships and answer questions.

When integrating no-touch automations into your resupply workflow, you can choose how and when a patient can reach out to your team to speak with a real person. Automated resupply takes weight of data entry and complicated order and billing processes off of your employees’ shoulders, leaving them free to spend time connecting with patients who need care in-person or over the phone.


To learn more about automated resupply systems, take a moment to get in touch with the Brightree team and schedule a consultation or product demonstration.

Mike Lorenz, Vice President of Brightree ReSupply

Mike has 25 years of experience using technology to solve complex business problems. He spent over a decade leading sales & analytics teams in the banking industry before spending 5 years combined working for Microsoft & an intellectual property firm funded by Bill Gates.

He entered healthcare as the CEO of a regional DME focused on respiratory care, where he retooled the company’s technology platforms and processes to address the modern challenges this industry faces.

As a member of the senior management team at SnapWorx, he helped lead the company from inception to its eventual purchase by Brightree.

Mike Lorenz Sr. Vice President of Product, SnapWorx

Mike Lorenz, Vice President of Brightree ReSupply

Mike has 25 years of experience using technology to solve complex business problems. He spent over a decade leading sales & analytics teams in the banking industry before spending 5 years combined working for Microsoft & an intellectual property firm funded by Bill Gates.

He entered healthcare as the CEO of a regional DME focused on respiratory care, where he retooled the company’s technology platforms and processes to address the modern challenges this industry faces.

As a member of the senior management team at SnapWorx, he helped lead the company from inception to its eventual purchase by Brightree.