In addition to the many familiar faces, new exhibitors at this year's NAHC Annual Meeting included a few surprising entries. We will delve deeper into some of the more newsworthy items in coming issues but here is a quick overview of the ones that caught our eye.
Consolo Services Group, a leading supplier of SaaS-based EMR solutions for hospice and palliative care providers, made a couple of major announcements. The Lexington, Kentucky-based vendor introduced Hospice of Southern Kentucky as its newest client and it announced the tripling of its HQ office space. The company drew praise from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray for partnering with Kentucky Correctional Industries in Frankfort for its office furnishings. Consolo is a rapidly-growing hospice software company. We will feature interviews with its customers in an upcoming issue.
The appearance of Brookdale Senior Living, PointClickCare and Optima Healthcare Solutions in exhibit hall booths, the latter two among the largest in square footage and height, is a significant event. Optima is a leading provider of software to physical therapy companies, both standalone facilities and the ones that contract PTs to home health agencies. It introduced its new healthcare at home software (see HCTR, 10/19/16, "Optima Healthcare Solutions Launches New Homecare EMR"), signaling its recognition that at least that one silo has already been torn down. We visited their Florida headquarters after the NAHC meeting and will share their story next issue. Optimahcs.com
Canadian Skilled Nursing Facility software vendor PointClickCare also announced its expansion into home health, although, interestingly enough, the words "home health" seem to have been removed from the company's web site in the days following the NAHC meeting.
TAKING THE TEMPERATURE
One typical conversation
among many, 2014-2016
She ran out of her company's booth and called my name halfway down the exhibit hall aisle, proudly displaying her logo-emblazoned polo shirt. "Are you going to write about this?" Her tone was demanding but friendly.
"Write about your company?" I asked. "Certainly, do you have a newsworthy announcement this year?"
"No," she insisted, "about this big empty exhibit hall. This meeting used to draw 2,500 people. There must be a third of that this year."
"Home health providers are nervous," I speculated, "cutting back on travel. But NAHC does have 1,045 on its attendee list."
"I've seen that list," she countered. "I'm on it. My competitors are on it. And, even if it's true, why are we paying more to be here than we did when there really were 2,500?"
"The big vendors aren't paying more." I pointed out. "Look at how much smaller all of their booth spaces are from the old days."
"You're right," her sales training the only thing keeping her tone upbeat. "Maybe that's what we'll do next year too."
Optima's largest client, Brookdale Senior Living, operates senior residences, across a wide range of care levels. In recent years, the nation's largest senior living provider has been acquiring home health and hospice agencies. Though the publicly-traded company recently announced a profit margin slip within what it calls its "ancillary services" business from 15.4% to 12.5%, their presence at NAHC is a strong sign that major players recognize the convergence coming across post-acute care.
Elsevier was a razor-thin runner up in the innovation showcase at Lincoln Health's Post-Acute Link contest last year. It offers three services of interest to healthcare at home providers. "Mosby's Orientation to Home Health Care eLearning" teaches best practices to new staff. "Elsevier Home Health Care" is a mobile-accessible set of quick reminder courses covering evidence-based skills, patient education and drug information with competency management that nurses and therapists use in the field when uncertain about any care detail. Through a license from The Corridor Group, Elsevier offers the complete "CHEX eLearning Library." More information
Medline has partnered with Qualidigm to provide a software tool that reviews nursing notes for regulatory compliance. SmartAudit is designed to support compliance with federal, accreditation and state licensure requirements, helping avoid penalties. More information
A new home telehealth vendor entered the fray, where profit margins and sales have been challenging for two decades, even for the Fortune 100 multi-nationals that have bought their way into it. Entra Health, however, is a little different. Whether it is different enough to succeed in a tough market remains to be seen. We will do a complete product review after we have had time to learn more than can be gathered from a quick trade show demo but what we did learn forced us to pay attention.
First, Entra Health is an international mobile health IT company focused on cloud-based remote patient monitoring, telehealth, health data exchange and analytics solutions. Familiar so far. What caught our eye was the remote patient monitoring kit they deliver to your patient's home. Packaged in an oversized briefcase, it includes every Bluetooth vital sign device your patient might need, with each kit customized to each patient.
Entra charges $99 per month per patient. With upfront cost the barrier to entry that is heard most by telehealth sales personnel, followed closely by "what do we do with equipment we own after it becomes obsolete?", this model may be popular. Until we do a full product demo and come back with more detail, additional information is available at 562-225-3918 and entrahealth.com
©2016 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org