Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Care

HME/DME providers are fortunate to have people of very high quality and standards as the leaders of our state associations and AAHomecare. The amount of time they give to their members cannot be measured. As I read the e-mails that many send to me, I see one thing that is impossible to buy - CARE! They really care for each member.

When I review the materials that I have received from Karyn Estrella (HOMES), Rose Schafhauser (MAMES), Beth Bowen (NCAMES), Mike Hamilton (ADMEA), Rick Stevens (WVMESA), just to name only a few, I am so impressed by the high quality of the work they provide their members. There are more than 40 state associations and there is no way I can fully describe how much these “leaders” do for their members. They care, and must be thanked by their members and all of our industry.

Yes, they care! They work with great dedication for their members and accomplish so much. When I speak with any of these leaders, the obligation they demonstrate for all their members is strong. Wouldn’t it be nice if our elected congressmen followed their example?

If you currently are not a member of your state DME association, please join STAT. I have the telephone number and address for each and will gladly give it to you (please call me at: 
321-255-3885).

Several things happen when you join. Perhaps the most important is that you will strengthen your company by working with them! Together you will help get the pending legislation out of committee and to the floor to be passed. If not, your company and many others may be forced to close their doors. We cannot allow this to happen!

With more members, the leaders, whose salaries are meager and not compensative to their performance, will be able to be better rewarded. They all work for you with such dedication!

Medtrade is rapidly approaching. There, you will meet many state association officers. Join now and make an appointment to meet them in Atlanta. With the industry under so much pressure, it is imperative that you both join your state association and follow up by attending Medtrade. Thelma and I will be there!
 
If you have not yet registered for Medtrade, use promotional code 20SOCIAL and get $20 off the Conference. >Click Here to Register Now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thank You

The last few weeks have been very exciting. I am watching how many DME/HME dealers have recognized that they must all work in tandem to continue to exist! Yes, it is happening!

I receive copies of the memos from many state DME associations, and I cannot find a sufficient number of words to express how impressed I am by what they are accomplishing. They have made every attempt to ask their congressmen to support our industry, and the results are fantastic. The congressmen are signing on! We must reach the number of supporters necessary to get the necessary legislation out of committee and on to the floor to be passed. So it's time to get on the bandwagon with your state DME association and work. Then, we will succeed.

Our industry has to appeal to their congressmen, but not with dollars, to get cooperation. Do it by explaining that they are speaking for all the people in their community, not as Democrats or as Republicans, but as American citizens.

I think the time has come when ALL elected officials can understand their first and primary task is to represent every American.

I am appalled when the newspapers report how little the last few Congresses have accomplished. I listen to all the commentators on TV and radio also reporting the same. The congress is divided into two parties and as a consequence, they do nothing. Why do we bother to elect these politicians?

I know that "a new broom sweeps clean"; therefore, it is time for a change! Let us elect congressmen who will care for their constituents first. THANK YOU!
 
If you have not yet registered for Medtrade (October 20-23 in Atlanta), do so now with the promo code 20SOCIAL to get $20 off the Conference.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Audit Reform

I am very excited by the response of many DME/HME providers supporting AAHomecare as they lead the industry to bring about Audit Reform. All I can say is, “THANK YOU.”

When I speak with providers, they know what should be done and have ideas on how to better things for the average dealer. I hear accolades about what AAHomecare and Tom Ryan will accomplish with their Audit Reform program. The last few weeks, when I made phone calls to several dealers just to see if that dealer sent a check in support of AAH, I didn’t even have to ask. I heard an immediate “Yes, I did,” or, “I will."  The important thing is not any one of them said “No.” Isn’t this reassuring?

I also like to ask if they are planning to attend Medtrade in Atlanta this fall. To me there is nothing more valuable to a DME/HME dealer than Medtrade! Let’s have a full house!

“Audit Reform.” At Medtrade, we as an industry, must assure AAHomecare and the state DME associations that they have 100% support from providers. I hope to speak to as many exhibitors as possible asking for their support; however, I am very sure that many of them have already pledged and given support.

Your role now is to make your plans for the balance of the year. When you enter the showroom at Medtrade, take notice of how brightly lit it is. You have to do the same thing in your showroom! Shoppers like to see everything clearly, and they also want to see a price tag on every item on display.

When I was a teenager and went shopping with my grandparents (my job was to carry the purchases), they never picked up an item without a price tag on it. This has never changed. Make it easy to shop and watch how customers pick up what they need (or want).

I realize that I drifted away from the topic of Audit Reform. At Medtrade, this will be the primary discussion and also the most important. Please make every effort to participate in the “Stand Up for Homecare” meeting with AAHomecare. I look forward to seeing many friends and sharing a glass of wine. The future for all of us rests with 100% support for AAHomecare and Audit Reform.

If you have not yet registered for Medtrade, use the promotional code 20SOCIAL when you register to save $20 on the Conference.

Friday, July 18, 2014

We Need You

We are at a crossroads.
 
We need the full support of every DME/HME dealer and provider in the United States. I want you to protect your company as well as our industry!

The American Association for Homecare (AAH) is one of the finest professional organizations in the United States. Tom Ryan, President, and his staff have taken the lead in this battle to protect those within our industry from being forced to close their doors by faulty or inadequate legislation.

Some of things being proposed by Congress will only make things more difficult and will not resolve anything. Your patients, customers, and family caregivers may find that they will have to travel far and wide to get supplies and care. The entire industry, every vendor, manufacturer, or wholesaler face the same future.

As the president of AAH, Tom Ryan has accepted this challenge! He has the support of the state DME associations, most of the vendors, and just about everyone who participated in “Stand Up for Homecare” at the Medtrade Exhibitions.

AAHomecare is leading the way.

To succeed, AAH needs adequate funds. This battle is not a one-day affair. It is a win or lose situation. Every facet of the health care industry is at stake! The way things are today, too many dealers may be forced to close their doors. If vendors and manufacturers have fewer dealers, will they stay solvent? A negative result is that many sick and bedridden patients will have to be hospitalized. This would be a disaster! We cannot allow it to happen.

I humbly ask everyone in our industry to share this expense with them. AAH will need a great deal of funds to fight this battle.

I ask you to mail AAH your check, and then set up a regular schedule. AAH will succeed; they must succeed! The funds you will be sending are to protect your company, your family, all your employees and customers. Sit down with your accountant and set up a program. This is an important expense. These investments will help insure you will remain in business.

I shudder when I think about a tomorrow without DME/HME.
If AAH fails in their efforts, where will you be?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Why not?"

This morning, Thelma and I were discussing the pending Medtrade Exhibition in Atlanta (10/20-10/23). Although we no longer are retail dealers, we still look back and see how many wonderful ideas and programs we discovered at these beautiful spectacles. There value of attendance at Medtrade simply cannot be measured. I say, “Thank you,” to Medtrade, because after each show, we have always returned home filled with new ideas.

Invariably we brought one or two employees with us. They earned that privilege! I cannot think of any investments we made that ever had a better ROI. The cost of inviting a member of your staff is almost negligible, because when they return home, so much more is added to your annual growth, including of course, increased profits.

So I ask you, why not invest in one or two of your employees?

There were a few comments made recently about the “HME Audit Key” program introduced by AAHomecare. This is an effort that MUST be supported. Every DME/HME dealer will benefit when Tom Ryan (President, AAH) brings this to fruition. That being the case, I ask that every DME/HME provider send them a check to support this.

I actually want you all to do more than just send money: Why not become a dues paying member? Belonging will guarantee that your company will not be forced out of business.

Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish”! The few dollars it costs to become a member of AAH and your state association, when compared to how much it will cost when you are obliged to close your company, is negligible. 

Thelma and I are looking forward to the Fall Medtrade Exhibition. Each year, we received a fantastic ROI, and so can you.

So why not register today and start building your future?

Monday, July 14, 2014

More OTC Cash Sales

I have always made it a priority to write about OTC cash sales. I try to send at least one blog per month on this topic. What I do enjoy is the response and interest I receive from readers. Since the reimbursement issues and other problems with Medicare, the need for new sources of income is on everyone’s list. Let us address it.

In HME News and HomeCare Magazine there are usually articles about entrepreneurs who have successfully developed OTC cash sales. You must read these! At the Medtrade Exhibition there will be many speakers who cover this topic. Be sure you study the huge list of classes to attend for you and your staff members.

I am very proud to say that I have been fortunate enough to attend every Medtrade! When I was a dealer, I chose two employees to come with us. We sat down and reviewed every lecture that we wanted to attend. We returned home with pages of notes to share with everyone.

On the exhibition floor, we each made it very important to visit those booths offering products which complimented the lectures. Returning home after the show was so much fun. All four of us wanted to share with each other what we saw; the new products, or how to expand purchases from our current vendors.

When our accountant saw how little the cost was to have all of us attend, and the fantastic ROI it developed, he was very pleased. He showed how after each return from a Medtrade Exhibition, our sales and profits increased. I am sure that many of you will tell me the same.

I am addressing this to those DME/HME dealers who hesitate to make this investment. The Medtrade Exhibitions are where you will meet your peers, vendors, and the associated organizations. There you will speak with AAHomecare, the buying groups, our industry's publications, and the other related industries. Talk to your employees, make your reservations now, and earn the ROI that is available.

There is nothing that can do as much for your company as MEDTRADE!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Basic Business

I want to say “thank you” to those readers who never hesitate to call me (321-259-7127) or to send me an e-mail (shelly.prial@att.net). I really appreciate all their comments. I love to hear from each of you. I occasionally receive a pat on the back but it is the others, which are more important. This is how I find out what you want to know. Please keep them coming!!!

A few weeks ago, I received three e-mails that were seeking the same answer. Basically, I have heard the same concern: “Things are very quiet right now, and my staff keeps looking over their shoulders to see who will have to go.”

When a negative is felt, such as the possible loss of a job, it can destroy a company. It must be addressed AT ONCE. When I spoke with each principal, I received a similar answer. They do NOT want to lose any employees!

I suggested they hold a staff meeting and have their accountant present. Ask him to speak first to assure everyone the company is in good shape! Yes, sales have leveled off but he made it a point to see that their jobs were secured!

I have always recommended their salesmen make outside calls to accounts they know and solicit new ones. I suggest these salespeople be “on the road” two days a week. By doing this, you should be able to keep enough people on the showroom floor. Approaching this problem correctly will bring you positive results. These dealers told me making this change worked.

At the Fall Medtrade in Atlanta, you will find many new opportunities. Every indication is that this year will be the largest and most critical Medtrade ever! Vendors, along with many new companies, have already taken booths. Make your reservations now and plan to bring some sales people with you. This will be a “win-win" trip for your business.
 
Register Now