To safeguard hospice viability and extend services to the growing numbers in need of hospice care, it's crucial that hospices respond proactively to the changes in regulations and reimbursement.
According to figures produced by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Medicare and Medicaid provide reimbursements for more than 90 percent of hospice care costs. While this is bad enough, funding per patient provided by Medicare is slowly but surely reducing driven by budgetary cuts intended to increase productivity. While these cuts are putting added strain on hospice finances, additional administrative requirements are forcing them to allocate additional resources to ensure compliance.
Due to these changes, there is an urgent need to improve efficiencies, limit overhead costs and simultaneously meet patients' needs while complying with regulatory requirements.
It was the recognition of this dilemma that led a group of leading hospice service providers to partner together and form SONO with the principal aims of simplifying administrative tasks and lowering costs.
SONO Unite, has a dual objective to:
- Reduce the amount of time hospices spend on paperwork
- Increase the quality of patient care
SONO's mission statement declares its intention to:
- Offer superior service
- Lower costs
- Commit to a true partnership
- Release resources to improve patient care.
These goals are achieved through the collaboration of ten of the best, privately-owned, hospice service providers in the nation.
Benefits of Partnering with SONO Unite
By partnering with SONO, hospice providers realize three important benefits:
- Patient eligibility: This task becomes cumbersome when hospices need to send and resend the same information to multiple vendors. By partnering with SONO, you only need to enter the information into your EMR system. SONO partners with multiple Hospice EMR’s allowing them to receive the information through an interface. SONO not only eliminates errors caused by the continual duplication of information but also allows you to place orders through your EMR directly communicating with your vendor.
- Vendor reporting: A crucial aspect of managing patient care costs is the analysis of medical equipment, prescriptions and medical supply expenses. This is complicated by the need to extract information from multiple vendor reports. SONO eliminates this by consolidating information from all vendors into a single report for each hospice organization providing you with a true cost PPD for all vendor needs. This allows hospices to compare costs, identify potential savings and make better decisions. Additionally, vendor errors and omissions are readily identified.
- Billing: The management of invoices and payments from and to vendors can be arduous. Each invoice must be checked, verified and separate payments made. The more vendors, the greater the workload. With SONO, this is a thing of the past. All hospice administrators need to do is make a single payment to SONO who then pays each vendor the correct amount.
Reducing Hospice Costs and Improving Patient Care
Much of the rationale behind the reduction in funding is a drive to increase hospice efficiency. This can only be achieved through the adoption of innovative methods that reduce administrative workload while, at the same time, improve the quality of information available to administrators.