Reading Time: 3 minutes Data is amazing and complex. Unlocking these complexities to open new opportunities for your business can be transformative. By enabling a fully automated, zero-touch resupply program, you’ll reap a number of key benefits.
We know what it’s like to be in your shoes because our employees have worked in every role within your HME care settings. Take Jeff Thomas. He’s a senior customer success manager at Brightree after working in the homecare industry for 30 years. He walked your path as a former respiratory therapist and knows the easiest way to get you from A to Z. We sat down with Jeff to hear why he loves working on the software side of the equation, what every HME should insist on from their technology provider, and how Brightree can help you solve your biggest challenges.
Q: After 3 decades on the provider side, what led you to choose Brightree for that next step in your career?
Jeff: As a respiratory therapist, I worked for DMEs that implemented Brightree’s solution. The software speaks for itself as best in class, but I was beyond impressed with the people at Brightree who were always there when you needed them. They understood the business. They knew DME because they had experienced that. They weren’t just staff who understood the technology side but didn’t have any real-world experience. They knew exactly what a biller goes through every day, what a respiratory therapist goes through every day and so on. I wanted to be part of that for sure.
Q: Is there anything you miss in that transition from the provider side?
Jeff: I do. I truly miss taking care of patients. That was always one thing that I really enjoyed as a respiratory therapist. Even when I moved to the business side of home care as a nursing administrator, I would always jump in to cover a patient visit as long as my license was adequate for that state. So, I do miss the patient care.
What’s your favorite part of your role as senior customer success manager at Brightree?
Jeff: I’m in it to help HMEs be successful. And that means a day full of just taking care of their patients because they’re not having to worry about finding a report, finding metrics, finding data, or dealing with a software bug. Their day is easier, and that’s what I love about it. My customers know that I’m there to help them in any way that I can and that when they reach out to me, they’re going to get an answer. Because I know what it’s like to sit at that computer and key in patient info. I know what it’s like to be a therapist and feel the urgency of getting the patient’s clinicals into the software. And when an owner or VP gets on the phone with me, I’m able to say, “I got you” and mean it because I’ve experienced it all.
What would you say are the most critical factors that an HME software provider should offer to providers?
Jeff: Number 1 is the user interface must be easy to use. Number 2 is the software needs to incorporate workflows that work the way your business works to provide the greatest efficiency rather than being click happy. When staff can basically plug what they do into the software and get the data they need to run the business, they’re going to be successful. Number 3 is automation. Margins are so thin that there’s no room for wasted time, wasted resources or wasted overhead.
What do you see as the top industry challenges that HME providers are facing right now, and how does Brightree help solve those challenges?
Jeff: Everyone is struggling with reimbursement cuts and the huge staffing shortage. And you know, DME is such a niche market anyway so trying to find qualified people is already tough.
One of the great things about Brightree is we automate processes to make things easier. Our platform has a very simple user interface, yet it’s complex because it handles so many things. Providers don’t have to have multiple platforms where staff jump from one software platform to another. With Brightree, every one of your staff – from drivers and technicians to therapists — are in one system to do tasks like intake, document management, eligibility and billing. So, with reimbursement, for instance, you’ve got to get the bill out quickly, and the workflows within Brightree allow you to see where every one of your orders are. Is it still sitting in my warehouse? Is it on the trucks? Is it at a patient’s house? This kind of visibility is key to getting paid as quickly as possible.
We also allow providers to have the data they need at their fingertips with our analytics and reporting. Things like: How long is it taking from the time that I get a referral in the door to when it gets scheduled? How long is it taking therapists for in-house patient set up? How long is it taking from setup to when we get that invoice out the door for the payer to pay us? When you’re working in homecare instead of in the four walls of a hospital, you can feel like you’re out there all alone chasing after referrals and not getting paid or trying to provide the best of care continuity, but with Brightree you have access to all that data to be successful.
At Brightree, we get you. And that’s how we get the implementation, support and automation just right for your HME business – so you can get the care just right for your patients.
Jeff Thomas, Senior Customer Success Manager, Brightree
Jeff Thomas, RRT has been in the DME/post-acute industry for over 30 years. Jeff began his DME experience with Life Support Products in 1993 as a Respiratory Therapist and has held various operations and management positions with American HomePatient, Lincare, Laurel Medical Supplies and Central Medical over those 30 years in addition to owning his own consulting business, EJS Compliance and Training. Jeff also served as a Home Nursing Agency Administrator in PA.
Jeff became a Senior Consultant for Brightree in 2014 and is currently a Senior Customer Success Manager focusing on Brightree’s national and manufacturing customers.
Jeff lives just outside of Washington, PA with his wife Heather, step-son Ethan and their awesome canine companion, Chewy. Jeff has 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Jeff and Heather spend much of their time doing home improvement projects and volunteering with their church.
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