Home Medical Equipment (HME) Providers Leverage Technology to Stay in Touch With Home Oxygen Patients

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Automated bi-annual oxygen patient follow-up helps HME providers communicate safe handling and storage, monitor in-patient admissions, comply with certification requirements, and maintain high standards of care.

Consistent and effective patient follow-up is one of the perennial challenges that face Home Medical Equipment (HME) providers in the United States. While reimbursement for home oxygen has been reduced significantly in the past few years, the need for consistent follow-up has not.

Oxygen patients, in particular, should be contacted at least twice per year to make sure they understand how to safely handle and store backup oxygen tanks, to make sure the HME is aware of any in-patient admissions for the patient, and to make sure the patient is still using their therapy.

Oxygen patient follow-up is important, and it is a requirement for most HMEs to meet their certification requirements, but making it cost-effective is a common challenge. There is simply no way an HME provider can dedicate the staff time required to follow-up with a large pool of oxygen patients and still generate a reasonable profit.

Fortunately CareTouch -- a software and services company serving the HME industry -- has released a solution today that gives HMEs the ability to leverage automation technology and specialized services to manage their oxygen patients in a cost-effective way. The CareTouch O2 Follow-up Protocol consists of basic safety information for patients and follow-up questions about general usage. It also gives patients a chance to let their HME provider know if they are having any problems or need to speak with a staff member.

After the first two weeks of therapy, and then every six months after that, CareTouch Interacts with patients on behalf of their HME clients through multiple communication modalities including Automated Call, Live Call, Web, Mobile/SmartPhone and Email.

Matt Dolph, Vice President of Client Services for CareTouch had this to say about the development of the protocol.
“About a year ago, some our customers started coming to us asking if we could help them with their oxygen patient follow-up. We, of course, said “yes!” and immediately created a custom protocol for each of these customers. Since then, we’ve been slowly doing more O2 follow-up for more customers and more patients – all the time refining the custom protocols into a more standardized approach."

Now, the CareTouch O2 Follow-up Protocol is available for general release. It is a very simple and effective protocol and can be implemented quickly and easily.”

The need for increased effectiveness and efficiency in the Home Medical Equipment market continues to be acute, but with new technology and services now entering the market from companies such as CareTouch, HME providers have more alternatives to get help with patient management than they ever have before.

CareTouch Communications, based in Westminster Colorado, provides remote patient management technology and services for US home health providers. To learn more about CareTouch visit the company’s website at http://www.CareTouch.net.

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with a CareTouch representative, please call Doug Hudiburg at (303) 565-2345 or e-mail Doug at doug.hudiburg(at)caretouch(dot)net.

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