Author: Maxwell Healthcare Associates

Posted: January 24, 2023

The Innovation Department at MHA is working through solutions to level up your agency's analytical confidence and holistic success. MHA's VP of Innovation, Scott Beard, talks through the three pillars of innovation and exciting solutions to look for in the coming months.

The Three Pillars of Innovation:

  1. Custom Business Analytics Products
  2. Help Desk Service Line
  3. Tech-Enabled Services





Host:  Welcome to the MHA Corner Podcast where we discuss news and developments in the post-acute space. Today, we’ll speak with Scott Beard, VP of Innovation for Maxwell Healthcare Associates. He'll discuss what the innovation department at MHA is up to, along with the three-pillar product line they've created for the MHA client base  

So, Scott, you're new to MHA but not new to the industry. Could you give us a brief intro as to who you are, your background, and what you do for MHA? 

Scott:  My name is Scott Beard. I'm the VP of Innovation with MHA. In this role I'm responsible for driving the company's innovation efforts and working closely with our clients to identify and address the challenges they face from a constantly changing healthcare landscape. 

I've got an extensive background in both health care and technology. Before coming to MHA, I spent 14 years with Enhabit Home Health and Hospice as the VP of Information Technology. There I dealt with all things from a technical standpoint. I've got a lot of experience with mergers and acquisitions and a lot of experience bringing technical solutions to our users. Before Enhabit, I spent six years at Homecare Homebase where I focused on building teams and processes around the implementation of the EMR for our customers. 

Host:  Great, well we're glad to have you. You've mentioned a key phrase there: you're the VP of innovation and as the VP of Innovation you helped create the Innovation Department. What is the Innovation Department and what are you all up to? 

Scott:  So based on research we've done and looking at industry trends and research we've done with our customer base, we currently have three main pillars that we built the Innovation Department on. 

The first of those pillars contains our analytics and custom business insight products. Now this is a collection of tools that provide analysis and information that's tailored specifically to the home health and hospice industries. They're generated using data and metrics that are relevant to day-to-day operations and can help agencies make informed decisions about its operations and strategy.  

The second of these pillars is our help desk service line where we offer help desk and support services for our MHA customers. 

And the third pillar is our tech-enabled services pillar where we provide technical solutions for the home health and hospice industries. And we'll add pillars over time as we grow but these are the three current pillars that serve as our foundational components for the Innovation group. 

Host:  I think this provides us a great outline for a conversation, and I want to touch on all three pillars. Let's start with the first pillar and begin with the custom business analytics products. What are these products exactly, and what can our clients expect when they have them in hand? 

Scott:  The custom business insight products in this first pillar are organized into three main groups. First, we have our operational oversight group, second our financial oversight group, and third our clinical oversight group. There are two main products that I want to highlight today. The first of those sits in our operational oversight group and it's called our Monthly Business Insights (MBI). Monthly Business Insights provide key metrics that are needed to operate a home health and hospice agency. Those metrics are displayed by branch in a month-over-month format and are designed to help agencies quickly identify areas of focus and make informed business decisions. It offers a wide range of metrics for home health agencies, including average daily census, various Medicare revenue metrics, and conversion rates. It also provides details on visit schedules, orders, OASIS, and staff productivity. 

For hospice agencies, the product offers metrics on time to admit, the average length of stay, various patient referral metrics, as well as financial metrics on collections billing and write-offs.  

As mentioned, one key aspect of the Monthly Business Insight product is the ability to view metrics on a branch-by-branch and monthly basis. Looking at metrics at this level really allows agencies to identify any underperforming branches and focus their efforts on improving those specific areas of trouble. 

In addition to just providing the detailed metrics, the Monthly Business Insight product comes with a monthly subscription where our consultants help interpret the information provided and assist staff in creating a plan of correction or optimization. 

So, we help answer the questions of how do we fix what we see? What do we do different? What changes do we need to make? MHA can help you identify these things so that the data provided is actionable and will make an impact on your business. 

The second product that I want to highlight sits in our financial oversight product group and that's our Payer Profitability Solution. The payer profitability solution is a tool designed to help home health agencies and hospice agencies understand and optimize their financial performance at the payer level. It provides an analysis of revenue per episode and per visit as well as other key metrics like number of episodes, total visits, average visits per episode, and net revenue, all at the payer level. 

Other items included are an analysis of cost. We look at all the costs: the direct labor cost, verification and billing cost, marketing cost, and finally admin cost. Admin costs are often hard to track and can be significant, and include a wide range of activities. So, in this solution, we really dig into the admin cost and include a time study of each task and workflow performed by employees. 

This helps ensure we capture all the actual admin costs. When you look at these admin costs over time you can identify trends and make informed decisions not only around the allocation of resources needed to best support patient care but also around determining the contract rates needed from payers to cover the cost of serving these patients.  

The solution also includes a cost per visit with write-off metric. And finally, the solution includes an estimated margin analysis which is a key metric in providing an overall view of profitability. It's important to note that every payor is different and has different requirements around operations. This can obviously make it challenging for agencies to manage their costs since the level of effort required to meet these requirements can vary so widely, but by tracking these costs over time and analyzing the level of effort required to meet the specific needs of each payer, our customers can make informed decisions on which payers to work with and make informed decisions on how to allocate resources to best support repair requirements. And this is exactly what the payer profitability solution does for you. It also comes with a monthly subscription where we can help interpret metrics and assist staff in creating a plan for optimization. 

Host:  Excellent, thanks for that in-depth description of that first pillar. Let's shift gears to the second pillar and discuss the help desk service line. 

What is the help desk and how does MHA’s solution to ticket management assist agencies? 

Scott:  Yes. So, we've really got a comprehensive help desk solution for our customers. We've got a team of experienced professionals that are available to help with any issues or questions that may arise. We can assist the MHA customers in a couple of different ways. First, we can provide ongoing support or assistance for any project that we complete whether that's the implementation of an EMR or any type of optimization or centralization project. We can be available to answer questions that come up after the go-out milestones and ensure employees understand all the details related to the daily EMR operation and can be available to provide continued guidance and change and support on any of these types of projects. 

Second, we can provide continued support and assistance on any partner project that we implement. There's really two flavors of the support: First, MHA can function in a complete help desk outsourcing model or, we can supplement your current help desk and a staff augmentation manner. So, when you work with us on help desk service, our goal is not only to help your users, but we also want to provide you insight on changes that can be implemented to ultimately reduce support tickets which results in improved customer satisfaction.  

We've also recently implemented new technologies to ensure the MHA help desk can scale and provide the best support possible for our customers. This service line is designed to take the heavy lift of support off the customers and ensure their employees have the support information and knowledge needed to allow them to function smoothly and efficiently. 

Host:  Now let's shift to the third and final pillar, tech-enabled services. What does that even mean, and what do these services entail for our clients? 

Scott:  Yeah, as we mentioned before, tech-enabled services is a team that focuses on developing technology-driven solutions for the industry. 

The goal of tech-enabled services is to help healthcare organizations leverage technology to improve patient care, increase operational efficiency, and reduce cost. The tech-enabled services team at MHA is made up of experienced professionals with a deep understanding of both technology and healthcare who have a track record of delivering technical solutions for the industry. So, we're working on some pretty cool things here currently. So stay tuned for more developments with our tech-enabled services group. 

Host:  Excellent, and we look forward to it. Scott, I want to thank you for your time, the in-depth conversation, and of course, your insights. 

Host:  Thanks for listening to the MHA Corner Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about our analytics, help desk, and tech-enabled solutions, contact us at [email protected]