Tag Archives: LVM Systems

Why, after 30 Years, I Still Look Forward to Going to Work


LVM Systems


By Mark Dwyer

With the holidays upon us, and the New Year fast approaching, now seems the perfect time to reflect on why we do what we do. I have been in the healthcare call center industry for over thirty years, nearly half my life. I did not start out expecting to work with call centers, or even in healthcare, for that matter. Back in 1986, I had never even heard of a healthcare call center—probably because, back then, they hardly existed.

The how of my entering the healthcare call center world, although interesting, is not nearly as important as why I have remained it in for most of my adult life. Anyone who works in a healthcare call center or for a healthcare call center software vendor will likely relate to what ultimately keeps me excited about my job, even years later. Although the money I have earned during my career has certainly played a motivating role, when asked why, my answer always takes a broader perspective.

Reflecting on the past thirty plus years, I remain motivated knowing my efforts have positively affected millions of peoples’ lives worldwide. This is also true of many of you. Let me explain by sharing my personal experience.

In 1986, I joined National Health Enhancement Systems (NHES), a fledgling start-up associated with the Arizona Heart Institute. During my thirteen years at NHES (later to be acquired by HBOC and then McKesson), I helped grow the company from six employees when I joined, to over 300 (with their own call center) before they sold. I then joined three former colleagues in supporting healthcare call centers through business strategy and call center process efficiency consulting services.Remember just how significant what you do each day is to the lives of the people you touch. Click To Tweet

I returned to the software vendor side in 2003 when I joined LVM Systems. At that time, LVM was still a small, sixteen-employee organization. Over the past fifteen years, I have had the pleasure of assisting in LVM’s growth to over seventy employees and to a position of prominence among healthcare call center software vendors.

This brings us to today and the reason I remain excited about my job. It is the influence afforded me to positively affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Let me explain. I have had the pleasure of helping grow two healthcare call center software companies into positions of leadership in the industry.

During that time, the numerous families of the employees at these companies have had the resources to put food on their tables, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs, not to mention money for little league and club sports, braces, music lessons, private schools, college tuition, and many Happy Christmases with presents under the tree.

It does not stop with just these 370 plus employees and their families. That is just the beginning. Each healthcare call center nurse, resource representative, and manager working in a healthcare call center using the products developed by NHES, McKesson, and LVM have jobs due in part to the efforts of these companies. These individuals again benefit from the wages they earn allowing them to provide for their family’s needs.

If we expand this even further, the real impact of the work I do, the work we all do, is significantly more far-reaching. Our efforts affect the lives of millions of callers helped by the healthcare call center software we use. Knowing that I have played even the smallest part in helping call center representatives in marketing call centers that facilitate enrolling callers in appropriate programs or referring them to needed physicians or services feels good.

And when I think about how nurses, in triage call centers across the country, daily avert deadly heart attacks or assist new moms in caring for their inconsolably crying infants, I know what I do is important. This is what keeps me coming to work each day, knowing that my efforts to grow and maintain viable software providers and products enables you to successfully help people.

It is this greater world-view that keeps me gladly doing my job. So, if you ever wake up and question why you go to work each day, look at the big picture and remember just how significant what you do each day is to the lives of the people you touch. Even if it is just one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

LVM SystemsMark Dwyer is the chief operations officer of LVM Systems.

LVM Systems Turns 30

LVM SystemsIn 2018, LVM Systems, Inc. will complete its thirtieth year of serving the healthcare call center industry. To commemorate the occasion, LVM will release a new version of its flagship call center software, N-Centaurus.

In addition, LVM will celebrate with its clients and staff throughout the year. Special events, parties, gift drawings, and other activities will culminate in its 2018 Users’ Conference next fall.

LVM Systems develops and markets software and internet products exclusively in the healthcare call center industry. Their primary niche is solutions that support nurse triage, disease management, and referral and marketing services. For more information, email info@lvmsystems.com.

Moving From “Sick Care” to “Health Care”


LVM Systems


By Mark Dwyer

In 2012 our government enacted legislature that mandated U.S. hospitals reduce re-admissions by emergency departments (ED) admits for the first thirty days post discharge. To force this change in behavior, rather than waiting for hospitals to choose to proactively address the overall health of their communities, the government began penalizing hospitals who had higher than average readmission rates through a deduction in their reimbursed Medicare payments.

This was a radical change in American healthcare as it put the onus of keeping patients well on the hospitals and providers who treated them. No longer could hospitals simply wait for individuals to require hospital care, rather it became their responsibility to proactively manage ED admitted patients for at least the first thirty days post discharge. If they were unsuccessful in providing the patient with the tools and help needed to keep them from re-admitting, they bore the weight of a financial penalty.

Initially, the penalty amounted to 1 percent of the hospital’s total annual Medicare reimbursement. It was tied to three specific DRGs (diagnosis related groups): acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia. Each hospital was scored against its neighboring hospitals to determine which ones had readmission rates in the highest twenty-fifth percentile of their surrounding hospitals. If a patient who had been admitted via the ED due to one of these three DRGs required readmission within thirty days post discharge, and the hospital’s readmission rate was in the highest twenty-fifth percentile of hospitals in the area, the hospital’s overall annual Medicare reimbursement was reduced by 1 percent. Although 1 percent may not seem like a lot, when it was applied against the hospital’s entire Medicare reimbursement dollars it was significant—especially for hospitals operating with only 2-3 percent profit margins.

But the government didn’t stop there. In year two of the program, the percentage of Medicare reduction was increased to 2 percent of the hospital’s total annual Medicare reimbursement amount. Then in year three, not only was the percentage again increased to 3 percent of the hospital’s overall Medicare reimbursement, but three additional DRGs were added: elective knee replacement, elective hip replacement, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

At this point many hospitals began paying attention, especially when over 2,200 U.S. hospitals were penalized for failing to reduce their readmission rates. To address this ever-increasing reimbursement reduction, hospitals had to implement programs to manage Medicare patients post discharge for at least the first thirty days. To do so, many home grown programs were introduced with varying success.Healthcare software vendors have programs to help educate and manage the patients post discharge. Click To Tweet

A number of healthcare software vendors also began developing and marketing programs to help educate and manage the patients post discharge. Some of these programs involved on-site care management visits, phone calls, reminder texts, and emails. Some also involved extensive motivational programs designed to not only assist the patient in remaining proactive in their care but also the patient’s caregiver. Too often the Medicare patient’s primary caregiver is their elderly spouse who is also battling a litany of health issues. Assisting them and other familial caregivers was determined to play a critical role in the process.

But what about the many patients who suffer from more than one chronic disease? Some vendors realized that many Medicare patients suffer from co-morbidities. It is not unlikely for an individual with diabetes to also be obese or someone with HF to have been admitted with an AMI DRG. Initially, since these various disease states were defined as separate care plans, patients suffering from co-morbidities experienced multiple interactions post discharge to manage all conditions that could possibly result in a costly readmission.

To motivate patients and their caregivers to follow post-discharge instructions regarding medications, to make and attend post-discharge provider appointments, and to integrate with the hospital’s care management or medical call centers, vendors have begun collaborating with leading content developers. By adding patient educational and motivational training content to their software programs, post-discharge programs can enable the nurse or care coordinator conducting follow-up calls to select the specific information needed to address each of the patient’s multiple issues. This co-morbidity program approach eliminates the need for redundant calls to address each of the patient’s healthcare issues. Instead it enables the nurse or care coordinator to select the content, surveys, motivational scripts, and other resources needed to meet all of the patient’s unique needs across a wide array of health conditions.

Future thinking hospitals and providers who see the need for follow-up beyond the initial thirty days post discharge are beginning to take a stand for long-term health management by using customizable co-morbidity programs. This is a real step in the direction of healthcare management. Imagine a future where healthcare generates greater revenues from having empty beds, keeping area residents healthy and at home.

LVM SystemsMark Dwyer is the COO of LVM Systems, Inc. For more information about LVM’s Co-morbidity Care Management Program (CCMP), contact LVM Systems sales at 480-633-8200 x223 or info@lvmsystems.com.

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LVM Systems Announces Poly Plan Health Coaching Program

LVM Systems has developed the Poly Plan – Health Coaching program to enable RN care coordinators to manage the health of multi-morbidity patients. Poly Plan helps identify the appropriate surveys to complete with the patient, the information to send, the health statistics to gather, and the goals to set – all within one call.

There are two primary plan frequencies: The comprehensive plan is designed to follow-up with the patient on a less frequent basis, such as quarterly. The high frequency plan involves contacting the patient weekly or monthly. Based on updated standards of care, care coordinators use surveys to gather data on the HEDIS and disease-specific medical care standards, as recommended by the corresponding accrediting organizations and authorities. The system also includes the Zung Depression survey and Diabetes Distress Screening (DDS17).

Once the appropriate data is gathered, the care coordinator accesses Poly Plan’s Health Information library as needed. This information is shared with the patient using email, text, or paper.

Key reporting tools assist with patient assessment and streamlined call processing. The at-a-glance report gives care coordinators a quick way to view the patient’s health history, lab values, appointments, and goals. Supporting the at-a-glance report is the adherence score card report to alert care coordinators to any behaviors that need to be addressed during the contact. Key components of Poly Plan include tools for patient engagement, self-management, patient goals, behavior change, improved outcomes, and reporting.

LVM SystemsLVM Systems’ Poly Plan – Health Coaching program provides the infrastructure to effectively improve care, education, and behavior modification. The result is a program that can provide healthier outcomes for patients, increase customer loyalty, and positively affect an organization’s bottom line.

For more information email Heather Jacobs or call 480-633-8200 x333.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

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LVM Systems Introduces iCentaurus Reporting

LVM Systems released iCentaurus reporting to enable a call center’s remote partners to access data and print reports from authorized databases within the call center’s environment. With this remote reporting tool, healthcare call centers can allow their off-site partners to print patient charts, class rosters, membership lists, and management reports.

Now, when a revenue tracking report is due for a 6:00 a.m. meeting, it will be available with the click of a button, complete with up-to-date data. According to Cheryl Baker, manager of client services for LVM Systems, “Many of our clients have been asking for this functionality. Providing controlled remote access to data and reporting will greatly strengthen our clients’ relationships with the entities they serve.”

Mark Dwyer, COO at LVM added, “Our clients are constantly being asked to do more with less. ICentaurus reporting allows them to leverage their staff, while continuing to meet and exceed the reporting needs of their partners. Doing more with less is what it is all about today.”

LVM SystemsICentaurus reporting is locally hosted at the healthcare call center site and shared with partners outside the call center through a secured web connection. Once rights to specific databases are granted, and access to specific reports are authorized, remote partners can login and generate their defined reports as agreed to by the host organization.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Sue Hawkins Joins LVM Systems

LVM Systems announced that Sue Hawkins has joined LVM Systems as director, business development. “It’s not every day a company has the opportunity to hire such a strong player in our field as Sue Hawkins.” said Mark Dwyer, chief operations officer at LVM. “Sue brings with her years of business and client development experience working with healthcare software solutions. Her tenure in the industry will provide additional depth to our management team.”

Sue has worked in the healthcare call center industry for sixteen years. Her experience includes twelve years in executive positions covering inside sales, field sales, and account management selling a variety of healthcare software products. Following that, she spent four years as senior sales executive selling various call center software products in North America. Her experience has put her in front of many C-Suite executives enabling her to develop and nurture numerous business relationships.

LVM Systems“Sue has built a solid reputation in this industry,” said Robert Cluff, CFO. “I am certain that our clients will find her to be a valued resource.” At LVM she will support and assist sales, manage business partner relationships, and work with customers and new product and feature development.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

LVM Offers 25th Anniversary Pricing for 2013 Users’ Conference

Pricing for this year’s users’ conference is $250 for anyone registering before August 15. After August 15 the registration fee is $425. Any organization that registers multiple attendees will receive an additional $25 off per person if they register at the same time. For the past few years, the registration fee has been $595. The conference is scheduled for October 23 and 24 at the Double Tree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert Hotel and SanTan Elegante Conference Center in Gilbert, Ariz.

LVM Systems“One goal with our pricing is to encourage long-time clients who have not attended in a few years to join us,” Baker said. “Our conference already provided tremendous professional development value. We are hoping this one-time, special pricing will show our attendees how much we appreciate them.”

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

LVM Systems Releases 2013 Version of Centaurus

LVM Systems released the 2013 version of its flagship healthcare call center software Centaurus. “This release represents a huge leap forward in our clients’ ability to have unprecedented control over the way they use our software,” said Jake Johnson, VP of .Net Development. “We have been working on these advancements for a few years. We are confident our clients will be pleased with the upgrades.”

LVM Systems’ Centaurus software is used by healthcare call centers to help manage incoming and outgoing calls. The 2013 version allows managers to personally customize their screens to increase efficiency and improve call flow. It also gives managers and users greater control over the surveys they create and conduct.

LVM SystemsAdditionally, the 2013 version enables clients to translate their software package into the language of their choosing. LVM Systems has developed a Spanish-language version. “Two things have really driven our ability to make such great advancements in our software,” Johnson said. “One is our clients. They continually give us feedback on software improvements that make them more effective. The other is our move to the .net platform. This has allowed us to write more flexible software code.”

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

LVM Systems Celebrates 25 Years in Business

LVM Systems announced that 2013 marks the company’s 25th year serving the healthcare call center software industry. “This is a very important milestone for us,” said Mark Dwyer, LVM’s Chief Operating Officer since 2003. “Being in business this long is a testament to LVM’s constant quest to develop the best possible healthcare call center software solutions.”

LVM Systems was founded by Les Mortensen in 1988. At the time, he was the company’s sole employee. “The healthcare call center industry was just starting then,” Mortensen recalled. “After listening to what hospitals required, call center software solutions were developed to best address their needs. From those early years, LVM has established a great reputation for answering the needs of our industry.”

“Our growth has been steady and strategic,” said Robert Cluff, LVM’s Chief Financial Officer since 1998. “We’ve remained focused on what we do well.” By adding two to three employees per year, LVM Systems now employs 61. In recent years, LVM Systems has also established clients in foreign countries.

LVM Systems“We’re in a very exciting time in healthcare,” Dwyer said. “LVM Systems looks forward to another 25 years of helping our clients succeed.”

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

LVM Systems Announces 2012 Users’ Conference

LVM Systems has opened registration for its 2012 Users’ Conference. The two-day conference offers LVM customers and other healthcare call center professionals the opportunity to learn about industry practices. “This is shaping up to be a fantastic conference,” said LVM Systems’ Cheryl Baker, manager, client services. “We are recruiting energized speakers who are eager to talk about the promising future of healthcare call centers.”

The conference is scheduled October 24 and 25 at the Double Tree by Hilton SanTan Elegante Hotel in Gilbert, Ariz. The theme for this year’s conference is “Positively Impacting Lives,” which is a tribute to LVM’s newly articulated mission statement: “Positively impacting lives through innovative, sustainable healthcare call center solutions.”

LVM Systems“There are so many ways healthcare call centers can provide increasing value to their organizations,” said Mark Dwyer, LVM Systems’ chief operating officer. There is also a preconference Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course (TNPCC) on October 23, offering eight CEU credits to attendees completing the course. The early-bird fee (ending August 31) for the TNPCC is $275 and includes continental breakfast and lunch. The registration fee for the conference is $595 per person; learn more at www.lvmsystems.com.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]