Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Yes, I can proudly say that I Did It! What did I do?  It is what I suggest you do. (I hope you enjoyed the words of Art Williams that I had the audacity to include.)*

I make it a point to contact all of the candidates for office in DC whose names may be on my ballot. Although I do not get to speak with each, I reach the people who run their local offices as well as their HLA assistants (health legislative) in DC.

We have the potential to make our interests and those of our patients heard. But, we don’t do it! I understand how busy you are running your company successfully, so why not do a little more?

In conversations that I have held with dealers in many parts of the country, I realize there has been one important accomplishment. Politicians will LISTEN to you and they understand what you are telling them.

The incumbents and the “wannabes” are all very aware Medicare needs to be fixed. If we improve the ability for the legislation to reduce fraud and abuse that alone will save mega-dollars from being stolen from the system.

When I speak to the candidates I tell them that my loyalty is not to a party but to health care. Do they listen?  Yes! Invariably, after I have spoken with their staff I will receive a response and mostly positive.

Prior to making these contacts get information from your state DME and national associations. They understand what must be explained to the politicians!

At Medtrade, you will meet them as well as the buying groups and allied associations. Attend as many of the lectures you and your staff can in order to get all the information you need.

If we take the time to make these calls, we will certainly get some positive results. I DID IT and I will continue doing it.  I ask that you do the same!

*See Blog: “Do it now. Part 2  -  8/24/12

Friday, August 24, 2012

Do it now! Part Two

You took a giant step forward when you hired a new salesperson. Now is when you can also make the changes in your operation that you have always thought about. I say: “do it now.”

In many of the conversations I have held with DME/HME providers in the past few months I am told about the changes they contemplate. Obtaining new fixtures, adding additional lighting, building a model bedroom or bathroom, Home Tele-health, and of course, hiring another person. I am hearing a great deal of talk, but need to see more action.

Now, as the economy of the United States is slowly turning positive, you must make every effort to get a bigger piece of the action. All your ideas for expanding, adding additional staff and becoming more aggressive must now become alive. Do It Now!

Look at the advertising the major marketers are currently doing. They are all going after the larger OTC cash sales. The automobile manufacturers are spending more dollars offering their larger vehicles. According to the financial experts, these sales are growing at a much more rapid pace. This is another reflection of how the economy is starting to turn upwards. The challenge is to see how quickly you can bring your company and team into the fray and bring the community back into your showroom.

Plan which new items or programs would be practical in your market. Prepare to develop more “open house” days and to make these successful, do them in cooperation with your vendors. They will be very helpful in making these “open hoses” more attractive.

Bring your “I want” and your “I need” list as well as some key employees with you to Medtrade. It is only a few weeks away in Atlanta.   

I'm not the only one with this "just do it" mentality, check out this inspiring video from Art Williams and his famous Just Do It speech!

On the exhibition floor at Medtrade 2012 this October, you will find many new opportunities and ideas to help you accomplish your goals. Give your staff members a list of seminars to attend. Speakers, leaders and educators are preparing to bring with them a plethora of tools for you! So “do it now.” Register attendance for your staff members to accompany you to Medtrade. 

Get Connected and Unite the Industry:
Register for Medtrade 2012:
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Connect with us on LinkedIn by joining the HME Network Group:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do It Now! Part One

When we returned from our vacation we found two weeks mail and two weeks newspapers all waiting to be reviewed. For a very pleasant change, rather than the usual “gloom an doom” reports, the mail we received was actually all upbeat. It appears that the recession is starting to melt away. Many new jobs were found, stock values rose and there was a small increase in jobs. Despite the cost of gasoline rising, people have started to shop and go out for dinner and entertainment.

I read through all the financial articles and I have three words to say; “Do It Now.” While the economy is beginning its rebirth, so must you.

Many DME/HME principals have spoken with me about hiring another outside person. Yes, do it now. Stop by your local college and request them to send you a few students to interview. You are offering an entrance level job where they will be learning a new industry and building a career. This is a job with a bright future. As your new employee absorbs knowledge your sales will grow and so will their salary.

I have been preaching this hiring and training program and invariably it been one of the most successful accomplishments of many entrepreneurs.

Since Medtrade is very close get that new hire on board ASAP.  A big part of their education is to make them even more successful. You will assign the seminars they should attend and they will accompany you as you negotiate programs with the exhibitors. This is a fantastic opportunity for your new salesperson.

Now, before costs start rising again, you will be able to increase your business dramatically. As others are waiting for the economy to become “better”, you will actually be making giant steps forward. There will be expanding volume and profit for your company. DO IT NOW! 

Get Connected and Unite the Industry:
Register for Medtrade 2012:
Follow Medtrade on Twitter:
"Like" Medtrade on Facebook:
Connect with us on LinkedIn by joining the HME Network Group:

Friday, August 17, 2012

You can teach an old dog new tricks! thoughts on social media for DME Providers.

There are  many excellent means of communication for DME/HME providers available today. I am always pleasantly surprised when I receive an e-mail or  phone call from an old friend. I welcome these and make every effort to answer each. But today the number of “hits” I receive from Facebook overwhelms me.

This morning, I heard from 12 people on LinkedIn. I recognized nine and am sure somewhere I crossed paths with the others. I receive several messages daily. My problem is in my 86th year, I neither have the skill nor the patience necessary to acknowledge them all.  All of these "social networks" including FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are superb means of communication. I strongly suggest that every DME/HME provider utilize at least one of these sites to his or her advantage.

What I do not want to see is that this great service degenerate into a major marketing and advertising program. I believe if you attempt to use it to overly-promote your business and specials, it will defeat your effort and your "friends" will begin to tune you out. However, when used as a personal approach it can fill a big notch. What I suggest is a DME/HME provider use Facebook as a simple method to say “thank you” to your customer and share with them interesting articles they may find useful. Make sure that whatever you provide is overall helpful to your customers.  That is called “good customer service.”

A special program in your showroom such as Blood Pressure or Diabetes screening day invitations can be sent via Facebook. Offering a  demonstration of equipment on a Saturday morning with the manufacturer’s salesperson is also appropriate. Use Facebook to make the announcement. This should be supplemented by an announcement to the local newspaper,  radio and TV stations.

Communication, when used properly, is one of the most effective  means of customer service. By providing good information you are also selling your company and this is far less expensive than buying advertisements. A satisfied customer is the best ROI you can obtain. 

Please find me in the social media world on Facebook & Twitter! I would love to hear from old friends. 

Also, connect with Medtrade's social accounts for the latest news from across our industry! 



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reputation is Everything!

The one thing which must be protected, no matter what may happen, is your good name. Your reputation within your community is why you are recognized. As the principal of a DME/HME company you must never allow anything to besmirch it.

We are known and recognized by success. This is earned by participation and accomplishment. When I travel, I enjoy visiting DME/HME providers. I always have been welcomed and made to feel like a special guest. Invariably the best ones have a sterling reputation in their community. Success and reputation go together like a hand in a glove.

These dealers may be active members of the Chamber of Commerce and belong to a civic club such as Rotary. They are stalwarts in their church, belong to the PTA (even though their children are adults) or sponsor a sports team (bowling, little league).

We met an old friend from California at a previous Medtrade Exhibition. He told me he writes a “good health” article for the Sunday edition of the local paper. All these are building blocks for your company.

Not maintaining your good name could be very risky. You can do ninety-nine things wonderfully and get loads of accolades but if you make one small mistake that is all everyone will remember.

There are many things one can do to build a good reputation, but the one caveat is be very careful not to make a misstep which will destroy all the good you do!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Looking for a Loan?

I am aware that obtaining a bank loan today can be rather difficult. But we read in the newspapers that banks are currently sitting on many dollars and they appear to enjoy counting them every day!

It has now become difficult for a DME/HME provider to get a loan from a bank. In their minds, many dealers may fail or reduce the size of their operation because of “Obama Care.” (I use the term “Obama Care” since that is what it is called on the TV or in the newspapers). The loan officers are hesitant and think it will be very detrimental to small business.

I have studied this and have also watched what has happened in Massachusetts. I now feel this presents a major opportunity for DME/HME providers.

“Obama Care” is far from perfect. It has many problems, but I believe they will be  corrected. Look back to when FDR established Social Security and note the many changes made over the years. Then think about LBJ and Medicare. This legislation is going through all types of alterations, but by and far, it has done much good.

So with the economy starting to return back slowly, but optimistically, the real entrepreneurs are featuring new OTC cash sales in their operations. Smart business people developing more over the counter cash sales opportunities! These DME/HME providers are all looking for new ones when they go to Medtrade this October.

But what we seem to be missing is co-operation from the banks. I wonder why? Having spoken to several loan officers, both at big and small banks, I want to tell this to you.

When you recognize that your direction must change with this new economy, then you will be taking a giant step in the right direction. That is what they like to hear.

You are going to after a large piece of the burgeoning new market. Your plan is to hire another employee or two! They will be out selling emergency and first aid supplies everywhere people gather or shop in your town. It’s the law!

It is important to keep your company name in front of the community. To  accomplish this you will need additional funds. Where should you find them? From your bank!  You sell medical supplies, the banks sell money. I spoke with a number of loan officers. What should you tell them?

Keep it simple and short. Ask for a sufficient amount of money. Prepare a good business plan showing exactly how the money will be used. Be sure you bring a current financial statement, prepared by your CPA. What the bank officer will  see is how your company has fared the past few years. They want to be satisfied that when they provide the requested funds there will be sufficient new income to meet your goals and repay the bank. There is a lot more, but this is usually how negotiations start. 

Make that first step and get your plans for the future launched. Come to Medtrade prepared to locate every new opportunity that is offered and will fit within your operation.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic!  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Need your help! Home Tele-Health and Remote Home Patient Monitoring

Are DME/HME providers and dealers ready to enter a new opportunity, the potentially lucrative “Home Tele-health” segment of health care?

I want to hear from you.  I need your help! Please send me your thoughts via e-mail ( This information will allow me to make an important decision.

This following appeared in an earlier blog this year: “A very brief description is that the patient can sit down at their Home tele-health station and send their vital signs instantly to their physician. The patient is able use the 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.” Russ Willcutt, Editor of HomeCare Magazine gave this a great introduction in their July Issue.

As the local source your company, will be working with the patient’s physician, nurse, therapist and/or family caregiver. You are the provider! If you have any interest, thoughts, hesitations, ideas or questions please send them. Share them with me and I will bring them to the folks that run Medtrade.

Our industry has an opportunity now to get into a very interesting new industry as an integral part of their normal operation. No, it is not easy, but neither is it difficult. There are very few new items available to the average DME/HME dealer with so much opportunity.

I would like to hear from you ASAP. I plan to make a formal proposal August 15 to Medtrade to include Home Tele-health and I need your opinions. PLEASE send them to me!!!!!