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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Stanley

What do Kroger & Providers have in common?

Turns out, a lot. Both are low margin business that a lot of people depend on every day. 

Like many Providers today, grocers in the ‘70s and ‘80s were struggling to survive. Managing inventory before the bar code took lots of people a long time. Each item had to be counted by hand, tracked on paper, and a price sticker had to be put on each item. This also meant using lots of paper.

Like Providers today, inefficient paper processes drove labor costs way up, and quality staffing was a critical problem because low margins kept pay rates low.

But today, Kroger is the 2nd largest grocery chain in America.

What changed? Technology -> the bar code.

Deciding to use the barcode wasn’t easy when operating margins were so low they were slowly going out of business. It took guts, recognizing the future is going to come whether we like it or not, and faith.

Kroger could have kept doing what it was doing and stayed alive for a few more years, but they would have been replaced by another store using the bar code.

You know what made the decision a little easier? 

Looking at what happens if they didn’t try…

Kroger knew they couldn’t keep doing business the same way. And if the bar code didn't work, they could just stop using it and go back to the old pen and paper.

…and what happens if the bar code works!

No more struggling, margins would increase, they could open more stores and move excess employees to the new stores, bring a better experience to Kroger customers, and thrive.

It also made it easier to tell which products customer liked better.

Let’s bring this back to HCBS

Providers are in the same situation Kroger was in. 

Providers are tracking everything in paper, just like Kroger was.

Finding and fixing paper errors takes Providers days each week, just like Kroger.

Providers are being sold solutions that are not designed for HCBS needs, just like Kroger was sold special inventory tracking pages that didn’t solve the problem of paper.

Providers are strapped for cash because of low reimbursement rates and expensive overhead, just like Kroger made little on grocery prices and paid for huge inventory staff.

The Takeaway

Just like Kroger decided to make things easier on themselves, Providers can too.

Taking the leap of faith in using a system designed for HCBS Providers (like Cura) can do amazing things:

  • No more spending days reviewing progress notes

  • No more spending days fixing progress notes

  • Less paper and less printing

  • Collect the data needed to earn value-based payments  

Have a great week!

Your Cura Team

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