Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court Decision 2012

The Supreme Court Decision

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 11:35 AM, and my phone started to ring. The Supreme Court of the United States, with a 5-4 vote, has said that the health care legislation is not in violation of the Constitution. We have all been waiting to hear what they believe and they have spoken.

Please do NOT make any mistakes, which can cause you to lose customers. The politicians are going to scream in dismay or say thank you. You should not do either.

Study the legislation to learn how it can affect your company that is only as far as you should go!  Every market is different; don’t give any positive or negative comments.  When someone asks for an opinion, please state simply that you are waiting to see how it will work. Taking a side will be very detrimental.

Listen to your clientele, thank them for their thoughts, but never state how you feel. This is not the time to take sides!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Americans with Disability Act


There is a great deal of magic in these three letters, A- D- A. Magic that can open new doors of opportunities for DME/HME providers. They bring you stepping-stones into a large market filled with potential new sales.

I was reminded of this when I had lunch yesterday with an old friend who built a most successful DME location in his hometown. He accomplished this because he recognized that A.D.A. (Americans with Disability Act) opened a door to not only perform a service in his community, but to become a lucrative source of new sales and profits.

The revised standards in the Federal Register for A.D.A. took effect in March 2011. I can write pages on this topic. I refer to it as the key to new OTC cash sales. No paper work, just some meeting, speaking, explaining and solicitation by you and your team. 

Contact your senator or representative in Washington and ask to speak with the HLA (health legislative assistant). Tell the HLA who you are, how much you appreciate the legislators support, and then ask if they would please get you a copy of ADA requirements.  They will do so cheerfully.

Wherever people gather, whether in a stadium, movie house, hotel, restaurant, school or house of worship, you can supply the things necessary to conform to this act. They must maintain certain supplies for accidents or emergencies. That is the law!

What makes this so exciting is that your company can provide them with the required products. You and your sales team have to make the rounds.  Identify all of the opportunities.  Be a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Your preferred vendors will give you handouts and other necessary material to develop these new sales. If you knock on doors, write to the newspapers, look for all the exposure possible, not only will you develop new cash sales (thank you ADA) but also solidify your reputation in the community. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Information Please!

I receive more than 125 e-mails daily. I am sure that each of you experiences something similar. However, I will not complain about this, not at all. I get more interesting material via the e-mail that affects our industry and I am able to extract wheat from the chaff. You, too, can do the same.

Simply check the box on every e-mail that is obviously unimportant and trash them. Look at others which may be of interest and move them to spam to check at your leisure. When I do that I normally end up with only a dozen messages to read.

Here are a few lines from some of the important e-mails that came to me recently:

#1- “NSC Mailing Revalidation Letters in Yellow.”  This came from many state DME associations to their members. It alerted all to the problem.

#2-  AAHomecare has saved the bacon once again.” A  similar message answering the associations. It proved to me the value ofworking together with both state and national associations.

Isn’t that the truth?

#4- “The fundamental difference between home care and institutional care”, Elizabeth Hogue. Esq. has always sent valuable information, but if you do not open it, you miss it.

#5- "It helps us make adjustments to assist providers and manufactures in reaching their goals. It's a critical year for the HME industry, and the feedback will help us make adjustments to what will likely be the most important Medtrade show in our 30-plus-yearhistory." A valuable  reminder about the coming Fall event.

#6- The competitive bidding process was designed to improve the efficiency of Medicare’s procurement system, potentially saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. But many experts have criticized the auction, pointing out fundamental flaws in its design. Now, a series of experiments testing the auction structure show that it does, in fact, fall short of expectations.” This says it all.

My message is please take advantage of the e-mails you receive.  Opt-in to industry e-newsletters.  Interestingly enough, the HME Industry LinkedIn group just started a discussion about some of the "can't-miss" e-newsletters of our field.  Do you have any to add?  

Read those that may affect your business. Carefully review the industry journals! Study all the material you receive from the state and national associations and of course, watch for the “shellysoundsoff” blogs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Investing in future technologies: Home Telehealth

There are many opportunities available to a DME/HME provider. Like anything new, these openings must be investigated and must be determined if your company is able to make an investment in a new challenge.

At previous Medtrade Exhibitions there were speakers who explained the importance of Home Telehealth and how it should be marketed. The future for the health care industry may very well be based on how much of an effect Home Telehealth or Remote Home Patient Monitoring can be for DME/HME providers. Today is the time to get on the bandwagon.

Much of your volume emanates by referrals from physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists and home health providers. A solid base of your company has always been patients, senior citizens and family caregivers. Home Telehealth will put your company right is the center for them.

A very brief description is that the patient can sit down at their Home Telehealth station and send their vital signs instantly to their physician and other members of their healthcare team (like the supplier or family caregiver). The patient is able use their BP cuff, spirometer, scale, and blood glucose monitor, oximeter, EKG and other equipment currently available. By themselves or with the aid of family caregivers, they can affix the equipment and in seconds the reports are forwarded STAT and monitored.  Remote Home Patient Monitoring and Telehealth eliminates the need for hand-written and self-documented log books, which are not always maintained the way a physician needs to treat their patient.  The healthcare team can have real-time, on-demand data to notice trends and early warning signs more efficiently than ever before.
You should contact some of the Home Telehealth manufacturers to see if your company can become the local distributor. This equipment can be rented or purchased outright. This can be very exciting for you and set your business apart from your competitors.  Referral sources are looking for providers who are ahead of the game and providing the best for their patients.

Medtrade is currently working to develop a special section of the showroom floor for Home Telehealth.

Don’t miss the opportunity that Home Telehealth offers. Don’t put it off for tomorrow, take the first step now and see how you can become the provider of Home Telehealth in your market. If you don’t your competition will!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yes You Can!

In our previous blog we spoke about what an individual DME/HME provider accomplished. When I hear about the many approaches taken to influence Congress and CMS it all makes me very proud. However, I neglected to remind every DME/HME provider about some of the many battles fought and won by their state DME associations in conjunction with the nationals.

Friday (5/31) I received a notice that the “Ways and Means Committee” of the House affirmed the repeal of the 2.3% medical device tax. This would have been a burden on the back of every DME/HME provider. I received copies from many of the state DME associations of the calls and e-mails they sent. This is just one of the reasons that I urge each of our readers to be a member of their state and national associations.

I was so impressed when I heard that Richard Stevens, Executive Director of WVRDS (West Virginia)  bravely went into the spider's web (Washington DC).  He spoke with the staff at Representatives Dave McKinley and Shelly-Moore-Capito, as well as that of Senator Joe Manchin. Certainly his efforts and those of all the associations made this victory happen. We must continue working together by bringing in your customers and family caregivers! We are “VOX POPULI” and that is much more effective than anything else.

It was agreed to not to pass this legislation and Senator Manchin would co-sponsor the same in the Senate. It is the efforts of  all that make things work.  As I said in the previous blog, “Don’t wait for anyone else to do what you must to protect your company and customers. No one else can do what you can.”

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Round of Applause!

An excellent performance always earns applause. I want all of us to send our congratulations to Patrick Naeger (Healthcare Equipment & Supplies). Patrick is a DME/HME provider in Missouri and he has proven that one man can make a difference.

Patrick established a relationship by communicating with Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson. He was able to get her attention to the fact that DME/HME is under constant attacks from CMS and Congress.  What he did, and we should all be very proud of him, was to assist her in developing a roundtable discussion with Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director of CMS.

Congresswoman Emerson, Patrick and a number of DME/HME dealers, along with other health care providers such as doctors and discharge planners, were able to have a three-hour “lively” discussion. I am confident there will be many positive results of this roundtable conversation.

An entire industry is under attack from Congress and CMS. You will see many bills coming from Congress which fail to comprehend or understand the role and importance of DME/HME providers.

Let us all start communicating with our legislators and ask them for their support. You have to present to them the role  that your company plays. Get all your customers, patients and family caregivers to support you. To be able to do all this please work with both your state and national associations.

Be like Patrick! Don’t wait for anyone else to do what you must to protect your company and customers. No one else can do what you can.