Thursday, April 17, 2014 · 5:49 a.m.
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The FA Tracker dashboard is compliant with HIPAA privacy rules and allows home health professionals to keep up with visits in real time. (Screenshot: Contributed)

Two Northwest Georgia home health care therapists teamed with Chattanooga technology company Blacksnow Media to develop an application and website to help professionals in their industry comply more easily with Medicare guidelines, prevent money loss and more efficiently keep up with scheduling details.

“One of the Medicare guidelines that came out the year before last really changed how we were delivering therapy,” home health care therapist Stacie Eady said. “It required reassessments to be done at certain intervals.”

The assessments must be completed at specific times, and if paperwork isn’t updated or information isn’t put in the computer immediately, there is more potential to miss an assessment visit.

Not being able to keep count of the visits and do assessments at the right time means a business loses money.

It costs about $180 every time a visit isn’t done at the right time, and businesses can also be fined for not being in compliance with federal guidelines.

So the FA Tracker—functional assessment tracker—allows therapists to document information in real time.

Eady said she and friend and therapist Tehya Torbett weren’t sure if the solution they envisioned was possible when they approached Brian Cooper with Blacksnow, a local company that has worked with tech companies such as LifeKraze.

“We have the phones in our pockets—why can’t there be an app that’s basically a counter?” Eady said. “You scan a code, and it tells you right then what the visit count is. It’s not dependent on anything else.”

Cooper said Eady and Torbett had an ideal idea for his company to work on. So he brought the idea to life for a “small percentage “ of the expected profits.

“We saw the potential and built the product at no cost to them,” he said. “Basically, we became their technology [venture capital].”

The team has successfully completed a pilot for the Hamilton County Medical Center in Dalton and is ready to launch the product, Cooper said.

And they have the attention of a large home health company called Amedisys, which Cooper said validated their idea.

The product costs $300 per agency, and Cooper said it doesn’t take long for an agency to break even on the expense.

“They can get that return within a few days—without exaggeration, they can easily get their money back,” he said.

The trio’s goal is for the product to be used by health care professionals across the country.

“[We hope to] get momentum going and traction with a few more health agencies,” Cooper said. “Our dream is it will take off and go nationwide."

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