Thursday, November 29, 2012

Don't Hesitate.... Participate!

Do not hesitate! Register now for Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas! Things have never been as critical for our industry as they are today! Your livelihood, as well as that of your clientele who depend on you, is at stake. Between now and Medtrade Spring-March 19-21, too many changes are happening and all of which must be monitored. At Medtrade, the experts that help guide our industry are standing together to keep our industry moving in the right direction.

Medicare and Medicaid are restructuring how they will control costs and distribution.  As for Medicare, we must get HR 6490 out of committee and on to the floor so it can be passed, or we will choke even further with the competitive bid legislation. We also have to work to bring about some very vital changes in the HR 6490 to make it more effective. None of this can happen until it gets to the House floor. 

The State DME Associations, the National Associations, NAIMES, VGM, MED Group and all the allied operations will be at Medtrade. We want to be sure that every DME/HME provider or dealer is on board and ready to join forces. By working together, our industry will succeed. 

It's a critical year for the HME industry, and the feedback will help us make adjustments to what likely will be the most important Medtrade show in our 30-plus-year history,"  said Attorney Jeffrey Baird. 

When you recognize difficult problems that are approaching and the answers attendees will receive, then participating in Medtrade becomes even more valuable.

Please notice I use the term “participating” not “attending".  Since I am one of the few who have had the good fortune to attend every Medtrade Exhibition, I can say the following: For many years in the past, Medtrade was considered a holiday. Members brought their wives, employees, and children. That was the way it was then, but not the case now. Our industry must develop a much more organized answer to maintain what we have.  At Medtrade, you will accomplish many of your goals by “PARTICIPATING".

Need I say more? This is why I am sending you advance notice. Sign on now and be sure to bring with your key staff.

Visit to register for Medtrade Spring.  Discounted rates are still available.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fighting Obesity

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that too many Americans are overweight. Is there a way for a DME/HME dealer to lead the battle against obesity?

Yes! You help your customers struggling with their weight and at the same time build your company. Here is one way to easily accomplish it. It takes time and planning to get all the different people and tools together to work this but the reward will be great.

Fighting ObesityAn idea came to a DME owner who saw there was an evening course given at the local college about “diet and weight.” He made it a point to meet the lecturer. She was a dietitian and when asked if she would like to participate in the program he was planning, she jumped at the opportunity! The dietician thought working with his program, instead of 25 people attending her lectures, she could double that number.  The second person he invited was a popular physician who was delighted to be solicited.  Again, the doctor felt that “word of mouth” after participating would reflect well for him and he would be able to help more people in need. Finally, he spoke with the sales representative for the line of scales sold in his store.

The plan was for a Saturday morning. The sales rep spoke to his company and they decided that since the dealer was ordering two-dozen scales, they offered to bring several others, which included a physician’s scale.

Together they chose the day. They called it “FIGHT OBESITY DAY.” Announcements were sent to all the physicians, VNAs, church groups, etc. The local newspaper was invited and they sent a photographer. More than 80 people attended. The lecturers were superb and the Q & A period after each speaker proved very interesting.  

Other activities could include giving out meal plans, blood sugar and blood pressure testing, raffles that included exercise equipment, and discounted memberships to local fitness centers.  There are so many healthy options and you can really get creative!

That day, they sold many scales and also one physician unit. He told me he plans to offer an “obesity day” program at least once a year. There were many other items sold that day which would help the customers in their battle with obesity. It was a banner day!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

When we all sit down with family and friends for our  annual Thanksgiving dinner, we should recall the events of this past year.

If we look back at the last twelve months we will find there were many exciting events which auger well for the future. The economy has started to rebuild and expand. As this continues, we will soon be out of the recession. The United States will once again return to normal.

Many new jobs are being found daily and this is another indication that the United States is on the rebound. As this further develops, we will continue to lead the world to share in this recovery.

I thank the Good Lord for my family and friends! I ask that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Please join with me for this most festive holiday.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shelly Looks Back: Opportunities

It’s fascinating how one thing can lead to another. Previously I wrote briefly about “opportunities” for DME/HME providers and when it was completed, I realized how big the potential market could be for your company. So along the same idea of soliciting new sales, here is another “door opener".

At one time, in my more than 65+ year career, I was a partner in an Ambulance and Oxygen Supply company.  Our company was awarded the bid to supply and service oxygen cylinders for the police and fire departments. The empty cylinders were brought in once a week, refilled and exchanged the next trip. The best thing that happened was that the various related OTC items they purchased brought in as many dollars as did the contract.

My company built these sales into a major new source of income: EMT squads. Most policemen and fire fighters are trained to give emergency medical treatment and so they, too, are EMTs. Most of them purchased their supplies from a catalog. I obtained a catalog and it was very obvious that we handled nearly all these products. 

This is why we very aggressively jumped into this new segment. We went to the local college and, with their help, hired a very fine young person. We offered an entry-level job and it very rapidly grew into a career.

In our showroom we scheduled a monthly Saturday morning demo. The new “hire” invited the vendor sales reps to set up displays.  It was wonderful to see how quickly this caught on and word of mouth brought more attendees each time.

Once every quarter, we made arrangements to offer a training class for the EMT’s at a local hotel. We charged a modest fee which included lunch. We learned that the fee made it important to attend (no cost=no value). The meetings were scheduled from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  The average attendance was more then 120 policemen, firemen, and EMTs.

What was so rewarding is that we had no problem obtaining speakers. We invited emergency room physicians, nurses, and officers from the squads. They were delighted and we developed a list of professionals who were very pleased to be asked. We even made arrangements for a local company to sell appropriate books.

Yes, marketing EMT supplies became one of our best sources of sales and brought us many “thank you” comments. The local newspaper wrote an article about our classes, which pleased us very much.

This is just another way to develop OTC cash sales!

Monday, November 19, 2012



For the next four years, the President of the United States will again be Barack Obama. Whether you supported him or Romney is no longer important. There can only be one President. However, the United States of America is still divided into two equal “pros” and “cons”. This is what concerns me now, are Congress and the President capable of working more closely together? There is far too much at stake to play “a party line”!

From today forward we, particularly DME/HME providers, must do everything possible to protect our industry and take care of our clientele. One of the important tasks facing us at this moment is getting HR 6490 (MPP) out of committee and onto the floor of Congress.

For the next two months we will have a “lame duck” Congress. If your current Congressman was not re-elected, please make the contact.  Now is when to ask for his support. Speak, explain and I am sure that you will be able to get them to sign on their support before they return home.

If it is a new Congressman, then before anyone else reaches him, please be the first of his constituents to make contact. They do not know if you voted for or against them. What is imperative is that they will recognize that you are an active constituent and your voice will be heard. This will also establish you as a valuable supporter with strong contacts in the community.

The first step is to establish close relations with the HLA (health legislative assistant) in the DC office and the office manager at their home base. Their major task is to collect the messages from the electorate and bring it to the legislator. Make friends! Let them know how much you and your customers appreciate what they do.

All the years that I was in business I made it a point to work with my Congressmen. I developed friends, with both my Senators Representatives office, in DC and at home. When I contacted them I was always heard and,  more often than not, I received an answer to my requests. You must establish a similar relationship. That is how they stay in office!

The average citizen in the United States can be heard and if you and the other DME/HME providers work together, we can get more of what we need.  Your state and national associations will guide you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Is there a market for DME/HME providers with Telemedicine?

Is there a market for DME/HME providers with Telemedicine? As CMS is seeking new means of reducing the cost of providing care, they are looking at telemedicine as a major break through. CMS envisions that it would reduce unnecessary hospitalization by allowing patients to be monitored regularly. It could possibly reduce trips to the ER or being admitted to an institution by 50%.

I prefer to call this service home tele-health!  It can also be referred to as Remote Home Patient Monitoring. I sent a blog in mid-summer and asked for some feedback. I only received a few answers and they were all acknowledged. I will ask once again, because it is an opportunity for your company to become the center of activity for good health care in your community.

Think about the role of the visiting nurse, a trip to an office, or any other technique used for checking a patient’s vital signs. As the middleman between the patient and the practitioner, your company can provide this service.

A brief description of home tele-health is the patient can sit down at home and send their vital signs instantly to their physician or nurse. You provide a BP Cuff, spirometer, scale, blood glucose monitor, oximeter, EKG and the other equipment required. The patient by themselves, or with the aid of a family caregiver, can affix the equipment and instantly forward their reports STAT via telephone or the web to have them monitored by their professional caregivers. The nurse or physician can then question anything that appears to be abnormal. The fees for these services are nominal, but they add up to many dollars in savings.

Are you interested in looking at this opportunity for your company?  Any changes you wish to make, whether for home tele-health or any other program always requires being investigated. Please send an e-mail ( or call me (321-255-3885). Do not allow this to go elsewhere. I am positive that bringing this service to your community will be a profitable one!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back to "Normal"

The United States has just chosen who will run the country. Now will we ever see things return “back to normal?” What does that mean? I thought long and hard to find a correct description of “normal”. Is it usual, standard, customary, orderly, right, correct or typical? Actually it’s all of the above.

I have received a number of calls and messages wondering when things will return to normal? My answer to all of them was: “When things are quiet and peaceful and you can sit down to read a newspaper, is that what you want? No! Being busy all day is your goal!
You are an entrepreneur running the business and you must make decisions quickly! Your customer will ask a question, a family caregiver is seeking help, your clerk has a problem, the telephone is ringing, the mail carrier comes in with a handful of mail, your wife wants you to shop on your way home, and your son has to be picked up at the gym.  Yes, this is all perfectly customary!

The good thing is that we never think about all of these happenings nor do we concern ourselves with them. We respond to all of these and you are successful because you are professional and your business is the livelihood for your family and employees. Your company has the responsibility of providing good care, supplies and working with customers and their family caregivers. That’s how it should be!

My answer to when will things “return to normal” is typically what has always been. Times change and without realizing it, so do you. Now our industry has to reach out to the incumbents and newly elected. Every effort must be made the get their support for HR 6490 (MPP).

When you continue to provide the service and care, as you have always done, your company will flourish. Normal is status quo.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Voting Day!

Tuesday, November 6, may prove to be a most important election day for our industry. DME/HME has a great deal at stake this year. We must bring or return to Congress both Representatives and Senators who know and understand what homecare really is about. They must comprehend that a great number of their constituents are senior citizens and that the baby boom generation is about to enter that category.

These people want to live in their homes. They do not wish to live together with other family members.  They do not wish to enter into any type of senior home care  or other facility.

Since one of the strengths of a DME/HME provider is his relations with both his patients and their family caregivers. They will listen when you speak about defeating the competitive bid. They will respond if you suggest they speak to their Representative to support MPP. You all have a tremendous amount of strength to bring about change. Together with your clients support those candidates that will defend you as well as their constituents.  

Yes, you have that strength! There are only a few days left until we vote. This year the elections will be very close. Every single vote you bring to “our” side will make things happen. Each vote is so critical.

If you need any tools just call your state or national association and they will cheerfully provide what you need. Please start speaking and calling and get involved. Your future has a great potential. Get the voters stirred up!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

My meeting with local officials on HR6490

Vital? Get on Board

Question: How valuable is the passage of HR 6490 to your future?
Answer:  SURVIVAL!

It is imperative that every DME/HME provider contact his or her Representative to Congress immediately. If you have not done so yet, please cease what you are doing and get on the phone or send an e-mail STAT. They will all be in their local offices until after Election Day.

The home office number and address can be found in the local telephone directory (or online). Since your survival as an independent business company is at stake, please do it now.

I also suggest you take the extra time to send an e-mail to their HLA or Chief of Staff in D.C. The website for each Congressman (or woman) will be:  Or, just do a simple Google Search.  If you would also like to make a personal call, I have the office phone in D.C. numbers available.  Contact me personally:

I received a few copies of memos sent by some state associations; I will take the liberty of repeating one: 

“Take Action Today To Repeal and Replace Competitive Bidding!

We need to keep up the pressure!

If you haven’t yet contacted your representative about signing onto HR6490 –
the bill that repeals and replaces the flawed competitive bidding program –
Time is of essence!

If you have, but have not heard back yet – contact them again!”

I contacted my Representative, Bill Posey, and had the good fortune of meeting with his Chief of Staff. We had a nice discussion and here is his answer:

“I had a chance to discuss the details of H.R. 6490 with Rep Posey and he asked me to have him added as a cosponsor of the bill.”

Every one of us must make contact. If possible, ask some of your customers and family caregivers to join with you. Yes. We can protect ourselves if we ALL continue our efforts. It is vital, important, and can be powerful.

DO IT NOW! ! !