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In The News

HEALTHCAREfirst Introduces “Solution Suite”

Home Care Technology Report, February 24, 2016

Coordinating the efforts of six different technology vendors may soon be a thing of the past for clients of Springfield, Missouri-based healthcare at home software and services provider HEALTHCAREfirst. The company has assembled all of its products and services into a bundle that it will be calling its “Solution Suite.” The pricing model will change as well, with a single monthly payment for the bundle instead of separate charges for each component.

We spoke with CEO Bobby Robertson about what may be a first-of-its-kind offering.

“This idea has been in the works for a number of years,” he began, “in response to a list of needs we saw. In our space, we compete with software companies, coding companies, billing services companies, analytics companies, and connectivity companies because we offer all of these things too. In the software arena, we have been selling features and functionality. Certainly, we do things better than some others, and some do things better than us. What we realized is that that narrow focus blurs the concept that what we are really supposed to do for our customers is provide a value.

“So we backed up and asked ourselves…What are the most important things that keep our customers up at night?”


Robertson and company decided that it boils down to three issues:

  • Profit – HHAs are being squeezed from top and bottom; costs are up, and pay rates are down.
  • Regulatory compliance – Auditors are looking over their shoulder all the time, trying to find honest mistakes that they can call fraud and impose monetary penalties.
  • Referrals – Reputation within the community has a direct impact on referrals and census.

Robertson outlined the ways “Solution Suite” addresses each of the identified issues. (click to read full article)

Elite Team Builds Point-of-Care System for HEALTHCAREfirst

Home Care Technology Report, September 30, 2015

In team sports, if one’s goal is to win regardless of cost, the logical strategy is to assemble a team made up entirely of All-Stars. It worked for George Steinbrenner and the Yankees in the 90’s and several teams have tried out the method since. The most recent organization to do so is not a sports team at all but the Steinbrenner strategy seems to apply in the competitive world of healthcare at home software.

We spoke this week with some of the members of an ad hoc software design team assembled by HEALTHCAREfirst CEO Bobby Robertson. His All-Star team is made up of former NAHC regulatory consultant Mary St. Pierre, former agency owner and Home HealthCare Nurse editor Tina Marrelli, home health IT consultant Suzanne Sblendorio, and Neeley Current, Director of the University of Missouri User Experience Lab. They teamed with 25-year home health software engineer and architect Stan Bell, HEALTHCAREfirst‘s VP of Product Management.


After listening to his customers, Robertson decided it was time to modernize his clinical point-of-care product with the latest connectivity tools and updated clinical protocols. Influencing factors in his decision to revise an already successful and popular software module included:

  • increasingly aggressive Medicare contractors — MACs, ZPICs, and RACs — who are looking to exploit both egregious and meaningless clinical documentation errors in an effort to root out fraud, waste and abuse;
  • a conviction that clinical documents are more accurate when completed in the presence of the patient instead of at the end of the day (or the week);
  • the frequent comments heard from field clinicians that point-of-care software more often hinders than promotes the likelihood that documentation will be completed in the patient’s home.

What the All-Stars came up with may very well be a leap forward in technology and ease of use but this is not a product review. The new point-of-care application will not be unveiled until the NAHC meeting at the end of October and released to HEALTHCAREfirst customers shortly after. Rather, this is a study of how some top industry experts collaborated to come up with something potentially newsworthy.

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