Author: Maxwell Healthcare Associates

Posted: April 11, 2023

Agencies in the post-acute space continuously fail to fully utilize vendor technology and services. Underutilization of vendor subscriptions not only wastes budget but leads to further issues in areas that could see maximized ROI. Our Vendor Partner Manager, Hunter Sorensen, joins us on the podcast to talk about this issue, introducing the vetting process MHA offers to save your agency time and money while reaching full optimization. 





Host: Welcome to the MHA Corner Podcast where we discuss news and developments in the post-acute space. Today we speak with Hunter Sorensen, Vendor Partner Manager at MHA. He'll discuss how agencies can best utilize vendors in the industry to optimize outcomes.

Host:  Hunter, Welcome to the podcast. You're the Vendor Partner Manager tell me more about that role.

Hunter: Yeah, so, the Vendor Partner Manager role is essentially just managing our partnerships. So, what we wanted to do with the work that we do with our clients is really to do the vetting and the shopping for other vendors solutions before the client even realizes they have a problem that needs to be addressed by a solution from a third party. That's why we decided to go after and partner with some of these solutions that we've vetted through, understood the value of the solution, understood the return on investment to the provider, and being able to put that information up forward to them so that way when there are problems that are kind of outside of the scope of our capabilities at MHA, that's when our partners can step in.

Host: How do we vet through some of these partners of ours, what makes them qualified to be a vendor partner?

Hunter: So, a lot of it really is just how any provider would be looking and shopping for vendors, right? I mean essentially, they sit down, they look at a demo of the solution, they get the pricing, and they get an ROI, and then the decision is made. What we want to do is do that upfront for the provider. Like I mentioned before, when we get approached by a vendor solution or one that we have kind of found interest in, whether we run into them at a conference, trade show, or just out of coincidence. When we take an interest in that we want to definitely take a good look at not only a demo of the solution but get the truth out of the provider of where the pain points are with their solution currently. Because, as a third party we’re not being sold this solution, we're being sold on a partnership, so what we want to look for is a great partner, one that we can work with, collaborate, and close deals together but one that also helps our mission of growing the space of post-acute healthcare. So, what we want to do is do all of that up front really vet through the solution. So, to answer your question, when you look at the solution, we see the ROI, we look at the pricing, and we kind of have our own little critique checklist that we look through and make sure that it's of value to our clientele.

Host:  Now let's talk value, specifically from the agency perspective. How do you assess an agency and what they need as far as a solution is concerned?

Hunter: So, as you know, we have a lot of capabilities as a post-acute healthcare consulting firm in this space, we have a reputation for that. But there's a lot that is really outside of our scope, what we don't know, and what we can't handle are new software applications, right, and so when we look at that we see OK: what are our capabilities when we're talking with the client? So, if an agency comes to us with a specific problem, we try to fix it. But there's a lot of times where there's some outlying questions that need to be answered from the agency's perspective. Where they're saying “hey, you know this is great work that we're doing but we're still seeing a need for XY&Z” and so those needs can be very specific, maybe you just need a third-party application to help your staff run more efficiently on their day-to-day. But there's a lot of things that we kind of look at when we're talking with the client, and that's really where the magic comes from. We really dig down into what is your current state, what are your actual issues, and really dig down to find the truth of that. So that's how we find that value for a vendor opportunity where we look at, hey, here’s what we're here for today but here's some issues that could cause some things down the road for you and that's where we provide the proper recommendation.

Host:  Let’s go a little deeper, what does this do for agencies what kind of costs are saved, and what kind of efficiencies are improved by conducting this assessment?

Hunter: Yea, so, when you look at the space today there's a lot of changes at the legislative level it's really cracking down on the value, the quality of care that you're delivering to patients and that affects your reimbursements. So when you're looking at an agency perspective on what you can spend, versus what's going to solve a problem, that is where the hang-up is on a lot of agencies. So when you're halting spending, you're really just limited to your own internal resources, which we all know is very short today. There's a huge staffing shortage that we don't foresee going away anytime soon, and so that's where when we look at a recommendation for a vendor solution, we want your staff to run more efficiently with less resources. So, that's where the value of these vendor solutions come into light. That's where you're going to see the true value in not only the ROI, what's your return on investment, how much money are you going to be saving, but like you mentioned how does it make your staff more efficient; it's going to decrease the time spent on certain tasks every day. So, if you're looking at, from a nurse's perspective for instance, they do a lot within their EMR. Their charting, there's a lot of third-party applications out there that claim that they'll save you time, but then they'll add a new interface with a lot of drop downs and other buttons, and it really doesn't at the end of the day make your staff run any more efficiently, and in fact it can infuriate them which leads to burnout quicker and that leads to less staff retention. So that's really where these vendor solutions come to light for us is how do we keep your staff happy by making their lives easier on a day-to-day.

Host: Excellent, Hunter, I want to thank you for your time and of course your insights. I really enjoyed this conversation.

Hunter: Thank you very much, I appreciate you having me.

Host: Thanks for listening to the MHA Corner Podcast. Interested to learn more about MHA's vendor partner program? Reach out to Hunter at [email protected].