Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We are Lucky

There are times when we all should sit back, just to relax and think. Between Christmas and New Year's has always been what I call my “re-evaluation” period to see what I have accomplished or where I fell short for the past 12 months.

I always try very hard, going back to 1950 when I graduated from College of Pharmacy, married Thelma, and then we started our career in “health-care” to share only the good things that happened. It had always been "we". Our goal was to share positive things and warn of pitfalls. The most exciting thing we did was working with DME dealers and providers to build the Home Care Dealers Co-op, which is still alive with VGM.

Another happy period was writing Shelly Sez for many years in HomeCare Magazine, and now preparing the Shelly Sounds Off blog for Medtrade. Without Thelma editing all of my writing, very little of this would ever have been seen.

All I can say is that the years went by so quickly, and Thelma and I hope we have had some influence and provided a bit of the “guidance” as we wished we could.

Since we are both in our late 80’s we have made our “plans” for 2015. We look forward with a great deal of excitement to participating again at Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas and then for the Atlanta meeting in the fall.

I can think of nothing that can do as much for every DME/HME dealer than attending both fabulous expositions. One claim to “fame” I am proud of is that I have been to every one to date! Thelma may have missed a few because she kept busy with our children and grandchildren. How about that?

I will continue writing my blog and enjoying reading the many excellent publications of our industry. The HME News and Homecare Magazine are so important, and look at the number of specialty magazines available to the industry. Yes indeed, we are lucky, aren’t we?

Friday, December 26, 2014


Communication is the ability to pass information to one another.

I use this blog to send thoughts about how to help improve your company’s operation. Many of the ideas that are shared with you come from other DME dealers.

Communication is a two-way street. I learned this some seventy years ago when I had a government job! The value and importance of listening and working with one-another cannot ever be ignored. This has been what I have always followed! So you must do the same: Communicate.

When you receive a message, please respond. The best example I can give you is how AAHomecare and the state DME associations are working so diligently to get some very special legislation passed. This will dramatically help our industry. To do this they require additional funds! The dealers who are members of these associations do their best!

There are far too many DME/HME companies who are not dues-paying members. Yet, when there is a success, they also benefit. I ask all non-belonging dealers to communicate with AAHomecare and their state associations. Tell them you will get on board.

Gather together and provide the funds as a dues-paying member. Then, the coming year, 2015, will be the best ever. So please communicate with an application for membership and your check to AAHomecare.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014

This is an important day for everyone. It is the day when people gather together to say “Thank You” for all the blessings they have received.

My feelings are best demonstrated in a song we know so well:

“America, The Beautiful”:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain.
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,

From sea to shining sea.

This day is set aside for all of us to gather our families together and
show all the love we have for one another.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Count Your Blessings

You own your business! You have some truly excellent employees! Despite so many efforts to take away some of the reimbursements you earn for your services, you continue blissfully working long hours to maintain your company and stay solvent.

Now all of the above is negative! This is why I say, “Count your blessings!” You still own and operate your company. You have many customers, clients and patients who depend on you. You have loyal employees who work for you. These are all blessings!

I received a fascinating “State of the Industry 2014” report from HME News. The numbers, which they reported, were encouraging. If you have received this report as well, study the information very carefully to see where and how your company fits. It should also be available for viewing online in the next few weeks.
After you have digested all the material, please give it to your accountant. Ask your key employees to study it. Certainly once again you can count your blessings.
A new year approaches. In a matter of just a few weeks, we will enjoy the holidays and plan for the coming year. This is a blessing: free time! Take this free time you get to very carefully review all of the segments of your company. Armed with loads of information, write a new “BUSINESS PLAN FOR 2015".
Please include the following items for next year:
  • Membership in your state DME association
  • Membership to AAHomecare
In addition to membership dues, set aside sufficient funds to help fight the threatening legislation, and encourage solutions. Be sure you respond to every request to contact your representatives. Plan now to attend both the spring and the fall Medtrade Exhibitions.
Do all of the above! Get every employee involved! They also depend on your company for their livelihood. You will find there are many blessings you can count!
Say: Thank God!

Friday, December 19, 2014


Let all the dealers and providers who make up the DME/HME industry use the time available until the New Year comes to do a few vital things for the future. Reviewing the year will provide the tools to both stay in business and expand sales and profits. Here are a couple of action items to complete before you break for the holidays:

1. Meet with Your Accountant: Set up a brief meeting with your accountant and study where your dollars came from; which segments provided the best profits and which were losing money. You may be pleasantly surprised or greatly shocked, but either way you must use this knowledge as the starting place needed to make future plans. I have had the privilege of working with many DME/HME companies over the years, and I can tell you this is valuable information.
2. Work with your Staff: When you have the facts, then you can work with your staff. If some employees have specific responsibilities, together with them go over all of the information showing cost, profit, loss, and potential. When your employee understands what this means, you win! If the picture is brighter than you anticipated, a raise in salary solidifies your employee.

My experience is that when an employee is given a big responsibility, they will perform much more than you can imagine. This is truly “win-win.”

I worked as a consultant for a very active dealer in Rochester, upstate N.Y. This gentleman reviewed four employees. Each was responsible for their department, as well as doing other things necessary for the company. He met with them once a week. This type of communication made for very close co-operation,

You all can do something similar! When you take advantage of the free time each holiday brings, it is easy to prepare for the New Year.

Note: If you have not yet registered for Medtrade Spring, early rates are in effect through January 4th. Don't wait, register for Medtrade Spring now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Make Things Happen: You have the power!

Daily, you receive e-mails, phone calls, letters, magazines, and many other communications. Do you listen and read these things or continue to wonder about upcoming events?

In the last few weeks I have received several messages asking me about what lies ahead for our industry. Invariably I answer these the same way, because I tell the caller they provide the ideas for coming events. We must all work to see them succeed. I am pleased with the many publications available, which offer answers suggesting ways to remain successful. Please study these carefully! This is where you will find the answers.

When you recognize how hard your state DME associations and AAHomecare work on your behalf, do you say, "Thank You"? The best way to express your gratitude is by becoming a dues paying member! There are far too many DME/HME dealers who are not members of their state association or AAHomecare. They must realize if they joined, much more positive legislation would get through Congress.

A great deal is at stake for our industry. There is so much pending that needs to be passed. Work with the associations to make this happen.

The cost of membership is so little, but if you find yourself being forced to close or greatly reduce your operation, was it worth the few dollars you saved by not joining?

Our industry, DME/HME, must become very strong. As business people, we all have one goal, which is ROI: return on investment.” Join forces with AAHomecare and your state association - “Let us make things happen.”

Monday, December 15, 2014


The end of 2014 is rapidly approaching! This has been a very hectic year, and DME/HME providers and dealers have still not been recognized for the wonderful way they have taken care of their senior citizens and patients. Instead, they are under attack because so much money has been stolen from the system by a multitude of thieves that there is little left for providers.

There must be a way to prevent these dishonest entities from finding ways to defraud and steal! When they are caught, they easily disappear or re-open under another name.

It has been my pleasure to hear from so many dealers in the U.S. who wish to change the system. When I see how diligently the state DME associations and AAHomecare work to bring this about, I believe we can make the necessary changes.

To achieve this, a great deal of money is required. The dollars these associations require to get these changes made comes from membership dues. Everything they have already accomplished has benefitted all DME/HME dealers, not just their members. If every DME/HME dealer becomes a dues paying member of AAHomecare and their state association, our industry will succeed.

Unhappily, these days I see far too many fine DME/HME dealers closing their doors, and that frightens me. Companies who have been servicing their communities for many years, providing the needs of all senior citizens, ailing, bed-ridden patients and others in need, are vanishing. We cannot allow this to continue happening.

The super markets run a promo “buy one, get one” free and they move a great deal of merchandise. Since every dealer today wants to remain solvent and stay active, I ask they each do the following:

Please call all your competitors, every friend, and every other DME/HME dealer you can reach. Ask them to become a member of AAHomecare and their state association. You will be effective! When you explain all the benefits of membership and how minimal the cost is, they will come on board.
That is a great deal; far better than letting the door close. This small investment will go a very long way, which is why you are making this effort. We can no longer allow another DME/HME dealer vanish!

Friday, December 12, 2014

State Licensure

You are aware that in other health care programs, in order to provide services, the company must demonstrate they are competent and understand everything required. But HME/DME has still has not prepared the correct regulations to participate. There is NO license required! Accreditation is a giant step forward; however, I still see many practitioners who should not be allowed to participate in Medicare or Medicaid.

I believe each state must issue a license to show the company is capable to provide the many things involved. This must come from the State Board of Pharmacy or its equivalent. If you only want to drive a vehicle, you have to get a permit from the State Board of Motor Vehicles. Some kind of proof that you have learned all that is required to function in DME/HME.

To become a registered pharmacist, I had to acquire a degree in pharmacy. The next step was to pass very strict board exams by the State Board of Pharmacy. When I wanted to open my pharmacy, there were other rules and regulations. The same applies for other health care services; one must prove they are a professional in order to do business!

But why not the same for DME/HME? The principal earns their license and then the location, prior to opening, is inspected to be sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. Then permission to become a dealer and be allowed to bill Medicare, etc., for services rendered should be earned. All this is the responsibility of the State Board of Pharmacy or its equivalent. I am comfortable in feeling that the same inspectors can monitor DME/HME along with Pharmacy,

The key to this is that a license can be revoked or suspended when found in violation of any rules and regulations. Without a doubt, most DME/HME providers and dealers run very legitimate operations. State licensure for DME/HME will keep out many companies and undesirables who do not meet the standards.

I would like to see a congressman introduce this legislation to be passed with HR 1717- Medicare Market Pricing Program Act of 2013, HR 4920- Medicare Competitive Bidding Act Improvement Act of 2014, and HR 5083- Medicare Audit Improvement and Reform Act of 2014.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Make Things Happen

As you walk through your office and showroom you will see that there are many opportunities waiting for you. You will notice items that have been on display but show little action. You have to recognize the inventory items that turn over rapidly. The goal is to make many more match the active products.

Promote! When you have chosen the products, contact the manufacturer and invite their salesperson to work with you. Showcase one product at a time and allow two or three weeks between promotions. When you speak with the salesperson, together choose the dates and items you will feature.

Now start promoting.  Place advertisements in the local newspaper and radio station. Contact all your referral sources to ask for their support. This is a critical step. The sharp dealers make it a person-to-person call, not via the telephone or e-mail. You will be pleasantly surprised when they all share ideas with you. Listen to them, because they want this to be as effective as possible. They, too, have a lot at stake!

A dealer on the West Coast told me that he always had a table with cookies and a pot of coffee being monitored by an employee.

The day you choose to promote your item should be a Saturday from 10:00AM until about 3:00PM. Over the years, I have heard from many DME/HME dealers and with no exception, they have all reported very profitable days.

You can “make things happen.” Your key employees should be very involved as you slowly put everything in place. In that fashion, your team will understand their contribution is of great value.

Monday, December 8, 2014


STAT means “at once.”

A Republican senator from Ohio, Rob Portman, and a Democrat from Maryland, Ben Cardin, introduced S.2975. This is the Senate version of H.R. 4920, which our industry is working very hard to get passed. There is only another week that Congress will be in session, so PLEASE act now.

Call and e-mail your senators to get it passed STAT (at once). Basically, we are asking that Congress pass the “Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act".

There is no tomorrow. Do it STAT.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Truth

How can anybody describe what TRUTH is? Does it mean honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, or sincerity? Is it all of the above or none?

Rotarians throughout the world open their meetings with “IS IT THE TRUTH?" I have looked in my dictionary and in my thesaurus to find the correct words to describe truth. I am not the only person seeking that answer. Emily Dickinson said: “Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.”  Mark Twain told us: “When in doubt, tell the truth.” So what is the truth?

I had been hoping that after the Thanksgiving Holiday, when we all were grateful for what we have achieved, the truth would prevail. A new Congress would then open in 2015 and we would hear that the United States, as a country, would roll up its sleeves and work for its citizens, not for a "party". But I still have not heard it.

If our elected congressmen would sit down together, speak like gentlemen to one another, and work for all the citizens of the US, we might see many changes. As long as we are torn apart, people like the dictators and some countries and “religious groups” will continue to do two things:
  1. It appears that they will accept the good money that Uncle Sam sends them as a personal gift.
  2. They will ask for more.
Since WWII ended in 1945 we have been involved in a war. It may be called a “police action” or a “joint effort with allies”, but it still is war! Despite the growing number of fine young Americans who give their lives, has the world changed in any fashion?
I have not heard the truth from any of the newly elected politicians or from those still in Congress, and I am so ashamed of what I see and hear. I beg all of the politicians to stop and ask themselves before they speak “is it the truth?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Harvey Diamond

Harvey Diamond,
Chairman of the Board and CEO
of Drive Medical
Harvey Diamond and I go back more than 30 years. We have always been good friends. I am very proud seeing how he has built his company, Drive Medical, into one of the most active and valuable resources for all DME/HME providers and dealers.

At the “Stand Up for Homecare” gathering that AAHomecare sponsors every year, Harvey stood-up. The room was filled to capacity. There were close to 400 dealers and other guests all enjoying a libation and some tasty finger food. When he spoke, he was not bashful. Harvey asked for better and more participation from every dealer.

One of the problems I am struggling to resolve is that an insufficient number of DME/HME companies are members of AAHomecare and their state associations. All dealers and providers benefit from their labor, not just those who belong. When I realize how much more can be accomplished if many more companies got on board as dues paying members, I become even more determined to help fill in the ranks.

I believe these words are exactly what Harvey said: “Check your egos at the door.” Despite how noisy the room was, I heard those words. The rest of his talk was equally vital. He challenged everyone in the industry to send in a $1,000.00 check to AAH. He said we all should solicit friends and other dealers to do the same, and I agree.

This is the most important effort for every dealer: Put your hand in your pocket and send funds and your membership application, if you are not yet a member. Click here to join AAHomecare now.
Send your checks to:

American Association for Homecare
1707 L Street NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20036

Monday, December 1, 2014

Earn a License

As an industry that services the community, DME/HME has become an integral part of the “health” chain in the United States. Our companies work with the physicians, nurses, hospitals, long term care facilities, family caregivers and patients.

We treat every one of our customers with all the care possible and do everything we can to ensure they get the maximum benefits of what we supply.

The cost of healthcare in the United States has grown far out of proportion! The funds necessary to maintain the high quality of services are diminishing. Why? What has happened?

This is not hard to answer. To become a physician, a registered nurse or a pharmacist, one requires a license! After showing they have the necessary skills, a license is then issued by the state.

If you wish to become a DME/HME provider, you have little more to do than say, “I am,” to open a location.

When a person is arrested for a crime and found guilty, they face prison or hefty fines. Those DME/HME “dealers,” when they reach a level where they may be investigated, just change their company name, close the old company and continue getting reimbursements for the invoices they submit.

Earning a license, having standards for the operation, and being subjected to investigation without notice is what a pharmacist and the other license holders face. Not DME/HME. We are professionals and must be recognized as such.

Earning a license to become a DME/HME provider is the answer. Let us make that happen!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Wish for Thanksgiving

“May we lie down this night in peace, and rise up to life renewed. May night spread over us a shelter of peace, of quiet and calm, the blessing of rest.
There will come a time when morning will bring no word of war or famine or anguish; there will come a day of happiness, of contentment and peace.
Praised be the source of joy within us, for the night and its rest, for the promise of peace.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Las Vegas

It is coming so quickly! What is coming so fast? The annual Medtrade Spring Conference in Las Vegas, March 30 to April 1, 2015! The door will be opening soon, and you must make every effort to attend!
This year, Medtrade Spring has prepared the most critical and important conference ever for DME/HME dealers.

So much was accomplished in Atlanta at Medtrade this past October. Now we must turn all of our efforts towards making another major step for the DME/DME profession. In the spring, when we all gather together again, we will be back to reach the goals we started and make further plans for the coming years.

The number of conference sessions scheduled is at a new high. Even more important is the quality of the speakers who will be sharing their knowledge with attendees. This is also at a new level; the cream of the crop has been lined up to lecture for you. Every DME/HME provider will find answers on how to expand their company, increase profits, and find many suitable opportunities to accomplish their goals.

To best harvest the most from this convention, consider bringing with you one or two staff members.
The ROI on this investment is stupendous. I have spoken to many dealers about this and they all told me the benefit of bringing key employees has made it very easy for them to expand sales and profits. As a consequence of bringing staff, they were able to draw new plans and new targets when they returned home. It is amazing how much your staff will contribute when given the opportunity.

There will be many vendors offering OTC cash sale opportunities. This appears to be the magnet for many dealers. There will be all of the manufacturers who have served you for many years and lots of new ones as well.

AAHomecare, the state DME associations, the buying groups and the publications you enjoy will be waiting for you. Make sure you are there.
Registration for Medtrade Spring 2015 is officially open. Attendees who sign up now are eligible for considerable savings. Click here to register.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Congratulations - One of Our Own Elected to Office

It takes a great deal of courage to even think about running for a political office these days. Politics is very different from operating a business, especially a DME/HME location. This is another full time job
One dealer has taken a giant step to both protect his company and his community in Carroll, Iowa. I am proud to announce that one of us has accomplished that step. He decided that he could be the voice of his community as well as that of our profession. He chose to compete for office!
Representative Brian Best
Iowa House District 12
I am telling you about Mr. BRIAN BEST! As seen in last week's installment of Medtrade Monday, he is the principal of BestMED Respiratory, and his company is well-recognized in the community for all the wonderful things they have already accomplished.
Brian threw his hat in the ring and successfully competed against a two term incumbent. He is now Representative Brian Best, Iowa House District 12. He made it happen.
Brian is an active member of MAMES, the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services. His company also belongs to AAHomecare. He and his wife, Sharon, began their career in DME/HME in 2001 when they opened BestMED Respiratory. Four years later, in 2005, they developed a sleep-testing facility, Western Iowa Sleep.
I am looking forward to meeting Brian, hopefully in Las Vegas, at Medtrade Spring. If he is able to attend, Thelma and I will all have the pleasure of seeing and meeting one fantastic young man!

Friday, November 21, 2014


As I began writing these blogs some five years ago, the one topic I seldom brought up was the capital of our country, Washington, D.C. You do not need any comments from me, when everything your company and business has to know about DC comes from your state DME association and AAHomecare. How fortunate we are to have these organizations working as hard as they can on behalf of their members, and also on behalf of the many non-dues paying DME/HME dealers as well. I want to see this changed. Every provider must become a dues-paying member and support these organizations, simply because they keep you in business.

Since the actual existence of our industry is so dependent on Medicare and other programs for a source of cash flow, dealers should make every effort to maintain their state and federal connections. They are all very important!

At this year’s Medtrade Exhibition in Atlanta I was delighted to see dealers carefully reviewing all the OTC cash sale opportunities that are available. These are the exhibitors you must recognize and utilize for growth and increased profits. The object of all DME/HME providers is to choose those products that fit into your current operation and find one or two others which can be developed successfully.

I stopped at one booth where the young lady was showing skin care products imported from Belgium. I was there as an old friend was hearing the pitch. I stood next to him and listened. He made a purchase for a small display. Since he set up the display in his showroom, he has already placed a re-order. OTC cash sales, all small, but with turnover, all become large.

Carefully study the Show Directory you brought home from Medtrade. I am sure everyone will find several new products that would be appropriate for their company. Contact each to send you literature and then working with your staff, choose several.

Our industry is so broad and there are many, many new opportunities waiting for you. When you see and hear what they offer, choose those that fit. New products to help expand your market are necessary today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Promoting Services

Over the years, I have heard so many success stories from dealers who developed profitable programs in cooperation with their preferred vendors. Don’t overlook their potential and assistance, both financial and with personnel, when you contemplate your advertising.
Here is a scenario, which was shared with me by a DME dealer:
This dealer chose the product he planned to promote, and described the program in detail. He picked an automatic sphygmomanometer that retailed for over $100.00. His company placed an advertisement in the local weekly newspaper. The cost for the ad was rather minimal and the preferred vendor shared part of that cost.

The ad invited people to their location on a Saturday. There would be no cost to attend! The store extended business hours from the usual Saturday closing of 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The representative from the manufacturer was there to help take everyone's blood pressure. A nurse was present to oversee all the activities.

This was also promoted by a sign in his showroom window about the free “take your blood pressure day.” He sent a product sheet in a mailing to all of his customers, the names taken directly from his computer, inviting them to have their blood pressure checked that Saturday. He informed all of the physicians in the community of what they were doing and was pleased with the compliments they received.

The number of people who attended, and the sales made that day, was very impressive. In a comparatively small town, they sold about two dozen units and they clocked more than 90 people who attended for their “free” blood pressure reading. Each patient was given a card with the date, time, and blood pressure reading. Of course the card also showed the company name, logo, address and telephone number. 
He added that in the two weeks following, they sold another dozen or so units. A success? Yes!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Resolve Problems

If our industry had no problems to resolve, that would be a surprise to me. But, unfortunately there are quite a few which must be analyzed ASAP; however, there are very few answers. Still, everyone feels they know what to do. I receive requests daily to review many of these ideas in my blogs. I do not have the answers, but “what to do” will be found with AAHomecare and your state DME Association.

As I have tried to point out often, a significant number of DME/HME providers are still not dues paying members of the associations who have the answers. With everything that has to be changed, there is a need for sufficient funds to achieve accomplishments.

If you are not a member of your state DME association and AAHomecare, please become one now. The HME Audit Key is just one of a myriad of legislation hanging over your head.

You can make a difference. You, as a DME dealer in your community, know your competitors. Make them your allies. They face the same difficulties you do, but when working as a team, together you can get positive results.

I have seen this done successfully in other industries as well as in DME/HME. If every member of the associations will pick up the telephone and invite each of their competitors to join both the state association and AAH, this will make a huge difference.

They know who your company is, where you are located, and will be very pleased to hear your request. If each reader of this blog picks up the phone and asks them to join forces with you and the associations, they will respond. They, too, have exactly the same mountains to cross. They, too, are watching profits decrease and have the same fears. Your invitation will be affirmed and you will both benefit.

Dr. Seuss: “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

When I returned from Germany almost 70 years ago, I felt that everyone in the world was sure we had just won the “war to end all wars.” A few years later when Thelma and I were married, I was sure I would be invited back for another tour of duty, this time in Korea. Thank goodness, I wasn’t.

How many police actions, or by whatever name they identify the fighting, have American soldiers been the policemen of the world? It seems the United States stands alone. All our allies send us their support, but very few men to help.

World War 1 formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th month in 1918. It appears storm clouds are gathering once again and I pray with all my heart that the United States no longer sends our troops to clean up someone else’s mess.

All I want to say is join with me and let our congressmen and others in DC know we will support all efforts to prevent another war from starting.

Benjamin Franklin said: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”

In the Book of Common Prayer: “Give peace in our time, O Lord.”


For DME/HME, The Future is Now

There no longer is a tomorrow for our industry. There is only today - right now! CMS is moving forward with their “reductions” and other means of saving money for the services and supplies that DME/HME dealers provide. We have to stop them from this discounting before it is too late!

We must respond the instant anything happens, or it may become too late to get results. DME/HME dealers and providers must act fast and in full cooperation with AAH and their state DME association to protect their customers and their livelihood!

CMS receives invoices for services rendered daily. Some of these are false! Will we ever be able to stop fraud and abuse? Yes, by licensure, and that is another difficulty to resolve.

Our industry has been shouting about the inequity in the reimbursements dealers receive for the supplies and services they provide to their clients. There is very little left behind after CMS makes their cut. There is a big difference between complaining and reacting. So NOW we must do more!

Congressmen do not listen to our complaints, but they will listen to the voice of their community; the citizens who vote to keep them in congress. So all of these folks should be our allies and must be asked to work with us to get results.

The best way to accomplish this is for you, your spouse, and key employees join as many local groups, including church, school, civic, chamber of commerce, and Rotary organizations, as possible. There are so many of these groups, and each will be sources of information for you and will help carry your message for you.

Become joiners, become members, of local organizations. GET ON BOARD!

Friday, November 7, 2014


The votes have been counted. We will have a different Congress next year, basically all one party: Republican. However, there are still a few things we can accomplish STAT. There are bills pending, each of which, when passed, will affect DME (and they are neither Republican nor Democrat). They are all common sense bills and will benefit the entire population.

Congress will be in session for a few scant weeks before the newly elected or re-elected are sworn in. I will list the pending legislation here, although I am sure you know them. This is the time for action. 

The future of our industry can be secured if we all will do the following:
  1. Contact any congressman who has not been re-elected. Ask for support to get the bills listed below out of committee and passed. They will be there for another few weeks and have the power to do that. Be sure they understand the beneficiaries of this are senior citizens as well as the ill and the needy.
  2. Contact the newly elected congressmen with the same request. Call their local office and ask for the HLA (health legislative assistant) or the office manager, if they are newly elected.
Do this as soon as possible. Get the name and telephone number of who will be your contact. You will be one of the first to make this request and you will now have both someone to carry your message and a friend to stay in contact with.

I still have folks in many offices that I befriended years ago and you too will develop the same valuable resources.

The bills pending are:

For more information and literature, please contact your sate DME Association or AAHomecare. They will very cheerfully provide the tools you require to take action. When we all work together and make these calls, I know that our industry will be able to serve all of those in need!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Solving Our Problem

Jay Witter, AAHomecare: “It may seem like the industry isn’t making any progress on resolving its myriad issues, but this is not the problem.”

Our industry is so fortunate to have people like Jay, who care, as leaders. It is such a privilege to work with him and AAH as we are scrambling out of a difficult situation. Jay and all of the AAH team are showing DME/HME dealers the way to remain successful. They get very good co-operation from their members, but that is insufficient.

Far too many dealers have not “enlisted” yet and they need more troops and more dollars to be able to meet all their goals.

I am sure everyone is aware that I am a retired pharmacist. When I ran my pharmacies, we belonged to both national associations as well as the state and county ones. We considered the cost of membership, including going to meetings and conventions, as a part of running our company. Our accountant agreed!

The guidance and other benefits garnered from these memberships contributed to our success. The ROI from this was that now, in my late 80s, I am able to participate with all of you and ask you to do the same.

Jay is correct! That’s not the “problem”. The problem is they need many more “dues paying members!” The holidays are almost here. As a gift to yourself, contact friends and competitors to get on board. If every current member will just get one new member before the New Year, membership will double and the future of the industry will be insured.

Thank you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Get on Board

The principal of a DME/HME company must be able to grow together with their company. It is important to recognize that our industry has changed from when you first opened to where it is today; you also must make adjustments!

AAHomecare and each state DME association are working diligently on your behalf. They are doing their very best to get the pending legislations out to the floor of Congress where they can be voted on and passed. The problem is that we have been unable to get the support of a sufficient number of legislators to accomplish this.

For the last few years, as an industry we tried to get these bills voted on and now we are obliged to start once again. Why are we unable to succeed and get Congress to get these pending legislations passed, such as H.R. 4920? There are too few DME/HME dealers involved!

It is estimated there are about 14,000 DME/HME companies in the United States. Then I see how few are dues-paying members of the associations who can get these things done. It is less than 10% who join; all the rest are “Freddy, the free loaders.” More dealers need to cooperate.

I know that I am preaching to the choir for the most part. But as I have asked over and over, I need you all to participate. If you are a member, then call your competitor and your friends and try to get them to belong!

The necessary funds to bring about the changes in legislation we require come from the dues paid. The more dealers and providers who get on board, the more effective they will become. Together we will save our industry and prevent any more dealers from closing their doors.

The industry, DME/HME, has a wonderful future; there are more senior citizens than ever. Those who are sick and ailing want to stay at home. They are your market - Protect it! Get on the phone, make calls to the congressmen and to your associates, and if you are not a dues-paying member of these associations, become one.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

MEDTRADE: Over the Counter Cash Sales!

As dealers made their rounds of the showroom, trying to see as many exhibitors as possible, they were mainly looking for new opportunities that would fit right in with their operation. Of course, an OTC cash sale was on every providers “want list”. I am pleased to say that when I interviewed attendees and asked if they found suitable “OTC CASH SALES”, I realized they were successful!
“Seek and ye shall find!”
The exhibitors were all aware that the industry is going through a major upheaval. This is long overdue. The big difference is that as an industry, dealers and providers are all working together. They are going to maintain Medicare and Medicaid because it still is a flow of income, but this should no longer be their major source. Although a dealer may have a large number of patients and customers who are at a ripe old age, they all will need many OTC items. Dealers sought and found these items at Medtrade!

Family caregivers will purchase any items they feel would be of value for Mom or Pop. This, for them and their family, is preferable to allowing them to be placed in an institution or possibly moving in with them. There were so many items offered by exhibitors on the showroom floor which were ideal for OTC cash sales.

Other specialty products, such as comfort items which do not require a physicians order, were also available. On the floor, dealers found a myriad of new OTC cash sales items. Such diverse opportunities for your clientele included everything from skin lotions and creams, clothes, shoes, and a large multitude of other comfort products.

Many of the Sales and Marketing sessions were very well attended. The speakers were all experts and well recognized for their skills. Medtrade has always brought with them the cream of the crop for the attendees. I sat in for a few moments only to hear and see what was being presented. I was impressed. Medtrade is on a level with a university!

Indeed, over the counter cash sales was one of the premier accomplishments in Atlanta this year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Remarkable! Successful! Exciting! Much more than I ever expected! I am so impressed with everything that I saw and heard at Medtrade in Atlanta this week! We all knew this would be an important convention. I was not alone with that thought and heard this from many dealers with whom I spoke.

There were more DME/HME dealers and providers than ever attending this year. They all were seeking answers and they received what they sought. This year the participants obtained a great deal more. Every facet that is involved for our industry was reviewed. The speakers all were superlative.

The lecture rooms were mainly SRO (standing room only). Most of the principals and sales people who sat in carried out with them the handouts and pages of notes they wrote.

Despite the fantastic turnout Medtrade received, there still were far too may dealers or providers who were AWOL. I understand and want to tell those who unfortunately missed being at Medtrade that there is still so much they can do.

Our industry has a very short timetable to reach our elected congressmen and senators. There are several bills pending that must be passed! Our industry did not get these out of committee! We failed last year and the year before! Why?

This happened because too many dealers or providers did not get off their derrieres to get involved and help. The state DME associations and AAHomecare are doing everything in their power to get results, but where are you? Are you all willing to sit idle? Your participation will make a difference!

AAHomecare is raising funds to help them be successful with Congress. Please send them your contribution STAT (mail checks to AAHomecare at 1707 L Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC, 20036). 
Work with your state DME association as well. When more DME/HME dealers join, then I know you will all be able to attend the next Medtrade.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


In a very short period of time, Medtrade Fall in Atlanta will open their doors and you and I will be there! HomeCare Magazine, HME News, and the other industry publications are covering this event. I read all of them from end to end. This is the only way to stay informed, the same as you do.

I also read my weekend newspapers and am really surprised by what local papers report. This newspaper is important because we also must know what is happening on our home turf. Your television also supplies the state and national activities.

The industry publications do the same for DME dealers and providers. They provide all the facts and information necessary to keep your company on the right track “Knowledge is power.” - Francis Bacon. Please be sure to stop by their booths at Medtrade to express your appreciation.

INFORMATION: Bring home all the material and information you garner at Medtrade and share it with your staff.
There is very little a businessperson can do without sufficient information. This is particularly true for DME/HME dealers and providers. These are very trying times for our industry and we find ourselves under attack from all sides. Unless you are informed about what can affect your company, you will not know how to respond correctly.

It is imperative to belong to AAHomecare and your state DME Association. They will be represented at Medtrade, so please stop at their booth to say thank you for all the hard work they do on your behalf. For those of you who have not yet become members, enlist in Atlanta.

I will be circumnavigating the exhibition floor, slowly walking with my cane. When you see me, please stop me and say, “Hello.”

Friday, October 17, 2014


Not only should you vote, but you must also suggest to your customers that they, as well, are obligated to vote. What has made the United States of America the world leader is that we have the luxury of a vote. But when a large proportion of people do NOT participate, then we are at fault. It is not important that you vote any party line, what is vital is that you vote!

I always support those politicians who understand what we do as health care providers and the contributions we provide to all our customers. I refer not just to what we sell or supply, but to the great amount of “pro-bono” services which are done as part of our services. Ours is a difficult message to deliver because of the “dishonest” element that find it attractive to steal dollars.

The politicians seeking a seat in Congress recognize the ability of a DME/HME provider to guide their patients and customers to cast a vote for a particular candidate. Need I say any more?

A Note on Medtrade in Atlanta:

Please attend as many seminars at the show and as you possibly can! Make it a point not to miss a single session, because each of them are specifically for you, the DME/HME provider or dealer.

All the years I spent as a dealer, I made the INVESTMENT of bringing one or two key employees with Thelma and I. The ROI (return on investment) was great! In that fashion we had someone attend every seminar necessary, and everything we garnered was shared with all of our staff!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Almost Ready

How quickly time flies by! On Monday, October 20th, the rooms in the Convention Center in Atlanta will be filled with dealers and providers, same as if they were at a university, taking notes and planning for the future.

Then on Tuesday morning, October 21, I will be standing together with the crew who make Medtrade so important, watching Kevin Gaffney (Show Director) cut the ribbon and open the doors. I never counted how many people flow in when the show opens, but they are all there to learn and prepare for tomorrow.

I have been very fortunate and also lucky to be able to attend Medtrade since its inception. This year, Medtrade is more important than ever. I am aware there are many problems which must be addressed, and answers which must be found. This has been the case every year, but this year the industry will have to join more closely than ever to be sure that the future for DME/HME dealers will not be affected.


Visit as many exhibitors as possible. This is important because these exhibitors are the reason that Medtrade is such an ideal place to formulate your goals for next year.

However, the most critical and important thing every DME/HME provider must accomplish is to become involved in the battle with CMS and Medicare. We must stop them in their attempts to further reduce reimbursements. One of our major tasks is to assist them in ridding the industry of the parasites that have created this problem. Licensure can be the answer!

Every DME/HME provider has to join forces with AAHomecare because they are at the forefront and can help bring about this victory. Tom Ryan, CEO, has made it very clear that when funded correctly, the odds for an industry victory swing to him. Get on board; join AAHomecare, join your state DME association, and we will succeed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Homecare Champions

Two of the nicest people that I know were named to receive the 2014 AAHomecare “Homecare Champion Awards”: 
Joel Mills, CEO of Advanced Home Care
Cara Bachenheimer, Sr. VP of Government Relations
at Invacare

Our industry is so fortunate to have both Cara and Joel leading DME/HME the way that they have always done. They never say NO! They will always listen carefully to what you ask and then give it 100% attention.

This is why I must quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

I cannot remember when I first met Cara or Joel. It seems to me that they have always been with us, and for that we must be grateful! What is more important is how much they have done for our profession, and this has always been done cheerfully. They have earned all of the accolades we can give them.

I want to add my personal congratulations to two friends I have known for a very long time. I anticipate these awards will be presented on Tuesday, October 21st, at the AAHomecare STAND UP FOR HOMECARE reception.
Please be there to say “Thank You!”
If you still need to register for Medtrade, use the promotional code SHELLY to get a Free Expo Pass.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Get a Bank Loan?

In the past few weeks, I’ve been reading articles in the journals about many business companies trying to obtain a bank loan. I was curious to see what is necessary to get a loan so that you can expand and grow.
I am happy to report this is a good time to see if your company will qualify. If you do, your bank can make funds available in several fashions.

The first option is to establish a “line of credit”. Actually, you already have this because you write checks based on how many dollars you have in the account. The next step is to look for an “installment business loan”. Normally these are used for the purchase of capital goods or debt consolidation. If real estate is involved, such as building a new operation or obtaining a new location, it is considered a “real estate” loan.

Before I go any further, it is imperative to appreciate how much the bank officer wants to know about you. When you bring your application to your bank, if the loan officer is satisfied, it will be sent to their board for approval.

Prepare your financial statements from the last few years. Provide a record reflecting payments. When they see you took 2% ten days more often than paying net 30 days you will look good!

Your company’s annual volume, gross, and net profit must be presented. Talk about your staff (they are key employees), and describe your customers! Explain how you plan to utilize the money. Present your business plan

The branch manager at your bank helps you when you indicate you are interested in obtaining a loan. I found today that they are now willing to listen to you. They will pass on your request. If it is practical, the bank may also assist you in obtaining a Small Business Loan where the government will be backing you.

Do not be bashful! Keep in mind that your company, employees, as well as all your customers, will be proud to see you expand.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Very Busy Year

It is amazing how quickly a year can come to an end and the next one can start. In the year beginning at the previous Medtrade in Atlanta and continuing through October 21, 2014, so much will have happened. I can hardly wait for the doors to open for this year’s Conference and Exposition.

This past year has been very frustrating for DME/HME dealers and providers. The pressure from CMS and Medicare to find sufficient dollars to cover all reimbursements is causing many companies to consider closing or downsizing - Don’t do that! Fight to protect your company and your customers. Yes, your customers do not want to lose your services!

The available funds for reimbursements are insufficient. I also know why this is happening: Too much fraud and abuse!
The Necessity of Licensure
The rules and regulations to become a dealer or provider for Medicare are weak. Many dishonest folks find this an opportunity to make a great deal of money rather quickly. Then they disappear before this is recognized. There must be a licensure program! The dealers, in order to participate, must prove that they meet all standards. But what are these standards? I find these hard to locate.

As a retired registered pharmacist, I had to satisfy many requirements before I was allowed to open my door. All other practitioners in our industry are required to have a license. Why are there none for DME/HME providers?
How We Can Make it Happen

We all must join together with our state DME associations and AAHomecare so that we can make our voice heard. Every dealer must contact their senators and congressmen, armed with the material the associations will provide. You all have to be involved! Do everything possible to maintain your profits and your customers, as well as your employees and family.

Together we can make this VERY BUSY YEAR into a VERY SUCCESSFUL YEAR! I want to see you all at Medtrade, working hard on behalf of your company and our profession.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Is it the Truth?

In the United States and throughout the world, Rotarians open and close their meetings with the four-way test. This simple routine has bound Rotary members together and allowed so much good will for all. This is so simple and important:

OF THE THINGS we say or do:

1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

If every elected official could be bound by this 4-way test, we would be living in a very different world.

If nothing else, the Rotary accomplishment of ridding the world of polio would be sufficient. But Rotarians never look back, but seek new challenges constantly.

It seems that far too many people swear allegiance to GREED! Webster describes greed as an “excessive desire of getting more wealth than one needs”, I don’t agree with that completely. Earning more is the award for all the efforts and work one does to achieve this accomplishment. My thought is: When does one cease fighting for more?

When I read in the newspapers about how Medicare has become a cornucopia to steal money, I was appalled. Again, the driving force is greed. There are so few rules or regulations in place that anyone can call themselves a DME dealer and solicit business. I know this will be a major topic at Medtrade.

But, there is much more scheduled at Medtrade, so please make sure you and your key personnel are there. It is just a very few weeks away until the doors of Medtrade are open - BE THERE!

Still need to register for Medtrade? Use the promo code SHELLY to get  FREE Expo Pass at Registration.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

C.O.C. aka Cantankerous Old Curmudgeon

A number of years ago, at a Medtrade meeting in Atlanta, I spoke about the fact that too few dealers belong to their industry associations. I compared things with when I was active in Pharmacy, where close to 90% belonged to NARD and APhA, and now how few DME/HME companies today are members of AAHomecare and their state association.

My talk in Atlanta that year was reported as one given by a "cantankerous old curmudgeon”! I felt flattered being called a C.O.C. because it meant there were people who heard my voice. I would like that to happen again today!

This year, the DME/HME industry is facing many “life or death” problems, which must be resolved. Reimbursements are so meager that many dealers are dropping out. Too many thieves are busy stealing so much money and our government doesn’t know how to respond.

We see the problems reported in the industry publications, HMENews and HomeCare Magazine, but I do not see as many getting on board as I would like. Tom Ryan is one of our leaders, and he has asked the industry to provide AAHomecare with sufficient funds to bring about the changes we seek. Please heed his call!

This C.O.C. has been pleading with CMS and Medicare that we need licensure and a means of getting the dishonest elements out of the system. Requiring a license that can be suspended or revoked when abused is one step. Enacting rules and regulations that must be met and maintained is another. We need to have reimbursements based on what is provided; an original and a knock-off product each have a different value!

This C.O.C. is begging every DME/HME dealer or provider to get on the bandwagon and join AAHomecare and their state DME associations. This can be done at Medtrade or right at this moment! Pick up the phone, join, and say the “C.O.C. sent me!”

I hope to see you in Atlanta - THANK YOU!

-- Shelly, C.O.C.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I was under the impression the citizens of the United States elected congressmen to represent all of their electorate. They have to recognize this! They represent all of the citizens, not just those in one political party.

In the last two years, possibly even three years, so little has come from our elected officials in Congress! I am very concerned that so little is accomplished in DC. Why? What can we do to awaken them?

The world is in an uproar and we are being attacked by all kinds of “wanna-be’s” who love our money but not our country. When I read in the daily newspapers how big the national debt is, I wonder how much longer we can continue to shell out dollars and get so little or no return.

Unless our congressmen start to speak with one another, instead of saying “my way only,” I see the United States being drawn into another war. How many more young Americans will be sacrificed? How many more families will be torn asunder? We cannot allow this to happen.

Congress will be in session for a very short period and then off for their annual Holiday. They can accomplish a great deal in the next few weeks if they become a team of dedicated Americans. There is too much at stake for the country! I ask that they please represent ALL of their electorate. 

I realize how hard AAHomecare and the State DME Associations are working to get some pending bills passed. They cannot accomplish this alone. It is now your turn to speak up! To be effective they require the voices of every DME/HME provider and dealer. You can also invite your customers to get involved. They have as much at stake as you do.
Visit AAHomecare's Action Center and add your voice to the initiative.

Friday, September 26, 2014

HME News

The Editor of HME News, Ms. Liz Beaulieu, sent a general news e-mail on Friday, 9/12, referring to the HME NewsPolls. Since I am no longer a dealer, I do not participate in them, but I find it difficult to wait until the results of these are published.

The responses they received to the CMS offer to settle pending appeals as an exchange partial payment, which in my humble opinion is absolutely the wrong solution for dealers, spoke volumes. The dealers said “No” to CMS. Our industry cannot afford ANY further reductions in reimbursements. I am embarrassed about the attitude that CMS takes.

DME/HME providers submit bills for the work they do and the products they provide, but none for any of the pro-bono services that come with their work! These are all hard-working people whose livelihood and that of their employees depend on prompt payments for their services.

The response from the industry was “No, thank you!” I cannot imagine that CMS would ask for an additional discount of 32 percent - Outrageous! How little profit there is and yet the DME/HME providers still worry more about their customers and continue to give the good care that they always have.

Medtrade will be here sooner than you realize. The most important things today are that we make our voices heard. AAHomecare, the State DME Associations, the buying groups and affiliated associations are all becoming ONE voice! When we fight together, well organized, we will show CMS that we must be reimbursed with fair settlements.

We have to pursue other changes, such as licensure, which will keep out the “bad guys,” to make things happen. Please follow the lead of our industry publications, AAHomecare, as well as the state associations, VGM, and all the providers and dealers who have so much at stake! They will ALL be in Atlanta 10/21-10/23. BE THERE!
Register  for Medtrade with the promo code SHELLY for a Free Expo Pass. [Click Here to Start Registration]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Make Things Happen!

There are so many things pending for DME/HME dealers, but the days seem to be racing by before we see any action. I could prepare a long list of the problems that have to be addressed, but that really means very little. We need action, not lists!

Congress has been called back to DC to get some legislation passed. Unfortunately, we have a divided Congress. The threat of another war is hanging over everyone! We have to pray that they can resolve this. However, working to get things done is far better than sitting and waiting.

Our industry is also in a dire strait. We must also get some bills passed, and unless our congressmen are contacted, they will not respond. This being the case, it is imperative that DME/HME dealers call their congressmen to notify them of our need and spur them into action. HR 4920 and HR 5083 need to be brought to the floor and voted in. With all the confusion in DC, congressmen will listen to their electorate when told how much this affects the members of their districts.

In a very few weeks, the industry will be gathering in Atlanta for Medtrade. This is where answers will be found! We have this opportunity to really band together and make a very strong impression on our Congressmen.

At all times, we have to remind these politicians that they represent all of the people in their district, and this includes the patients, the family caregivers and all the professionals involved in health care. We all vote, and it's votes they will need to maintain their offices! We must make things happen!
When you travel to Atlanta for Medtrade this October, bring with you as many members of your “team” as possible. Instead of asking what’s happening, let us make things happen!
[Click Here to Register for Medtrade]  Don't forget to use the promotional code SHELLY to get your Free Expo Pass!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Can you put a true value to your company?

When I picture a typical DME/HME dealer, this is what comes to mind:

Your family has been making a good living from your company! The many customers who enjoy shopping at your store appreciate everything you supply to them as well as all the pro-bono benefits you give. Your entire staff shares in this! The family caregivers who shop for Mom or Dad know how important your services are, and they say “thank you” every time they see you.

DME/HME is your profession, and you are very proud of your operation and every thing that bears your name. But you and your peers are under attack, not for what you perform but because a very bad element has us draining out funds and creating havoc.

To help protect the future of this typical DME/HME dealer (and many of you are a match for my above description), here are several things that you should do. These blogs have made our position rather clear: There must be a way of licensing DME/HME providers. After all, we are dealing with sick and bedridden patients. Licensure is one viable solution.

Another answer is to get legislation passed (H.R.4920 and H.R.5083), or the future may become NIL for all. As we have reported, similar bills, both last year and the year before, never got out of committee.

Why did that happen? Did everyone work as hard as they could to get results? The state DME associations are contacting every congressman in their states to encourage them to get on board. They are having excellent success, but Tempus Fugit.

We now have a leader with Tom Ryan, President of AAHomecare. If we all get behind him, DME/HME dealers, manufacturers, vendors, industry associations, we will win. He is leading us, and is trying to raise sufficient support to bring these efforts to a successful conclusion.

Consider the value of your company. The decision to communicate with your state association and AAHomecare, and pay the necessary dues, is one worth making! If we do not win, what will happen to your company? Its value will disappear, and so will everything you have worked so hard to protect.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Greg Thompson

Director of Media Relations,
Greg Thompson
I did not realize how often I have read the weekly Medtrade Monday that we all receive with our e-mails. We take many things for granted, but we should not fail to recognize who prepares this message.

In order to reach your goals, it is imperative you understand what is happening almost daily, which can affect your business. You realize that if you don't, your company may fall aside. Medtrade Monday is your guide to the most important opportunities you find at the Exhibitions! It is only a few weeks away, 10/21-10/23, in Atlanta.

I want all of our readers to know that the source of this weekly mailing is Greg Thompson. I am very proud that I have met and know who Greg is! He is without a doubt a master author. Greg is a real gentleman. It is everyone’s privilege to read what he prepares in such clear words. Job 6:25: “How forcible are right words!” There is no way I can say that any better.

Greg will be very busy at Medtrade, but when you see him, please say, “Thank you.” I know how much he will appreciate hearing this from you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dress Code

What a difference a dress code can make! In a previous blog we wrote about providing your staff with jackets. Your company logo and the name of the employee are all that should be on the jacket. This modest expense is one with a great ROI.

Whatever you can do to make your store a focal point in the community is vital. The first impression a customer gets when they enter your showroom makes a big difference. It must be appropriate and positive. When a customer can clearly identify the salesperson’s name, the first step is taken. When your salesperson knows the client, that is fine, however if they do not know them, they must greet them with a simple, "May I help you?"

I received a message from a DME/HME dealer reminding me of a talk I gave at a Medtrade exhibition. This dealer, as do many others, provides all his staff with jackets. He sees to it that everyone on his staff, whether a delivery person or house sales employee, wears the company jacket. His company is a very successful operation, and he feels this dress code has contributed greatly to their success.
A good friend in upstate New York told me he saw a neighbor receiving oxygen equipment from another company. Those installation technicians looked like truck drivers, not at all professional. The last person a customer sees from your company is what remains in their memory. This dealer sees to it that his delivery people dress as well as the employees in the showroom.

Your showroom must be conducive to invite the customer to shop. I have often mentioned a few other ways to make your showroom the magnet it should be. I also recommend bright lights, signage, and of course, prices displayed on all merchandise. Most people will not purchase an item that does not have a price affixed. Would you?

Please be sure there are no dark corners. Everything should be bright and cheerful! Signs identifying every department should also be visible.

A good dress code puts your clientele at ease when they shop. You will hear this repeated in nearly every seminar and lecture on marketing at Medtrade in Atlanta this October 20-23. The show will be here before you know it - Have you registered yet? Use the promo code, SHELLY to get your Free Expo Pass at registration. I'll see you there!

Monday, September 15, 2014

H.R.4920, H.R.5083 PENDING

H.R.4920: the DMEPOS Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act of 2014, and H.R.5083: the Medicare DMEPOS Audit Improvement and Reform (AIR) Act of 2014.

Last year, and the year before, there were similar bills pending in Congress. Our industry failed to get them out of committee and passed; not once, but twice! We must not allow that to happen again. In a baseball game, three strikes and you are out.

I am not talking about a ballgame; I am worried about an industry. You are concerned about all your customers and patients
. You should also be concerned about making a living for your staff and yourself. Every effort must be made to get these bills passed STAT.

I do not wish to paint a negative outcome. I realize that all DME/HME providers are aware of the consequences if our industry falls down another time. Don’t let this happen!

I know many dealers will participate at Medtrade in Atlanta this October. This year will probably have the highest number of attendees. But when I realize there probably are about 15,000 DME dealers in the country, I wonder why we aren’t able to get more dealers involved. When we do, everyone will benefit!

How many providers are sitting quietly, waiting for someone else to fight for them? There is no one else. Every DME/HME dealer must give more than lip service. Because this year it is so critical to have H.R.4920 and H.R.5083 passed, so we all must take steps to become dues paying members of AAHomecare and the State DME Associations.

These organizations have the power to help us win this battle, but in order to succeed, they need our support! There are no excuses for not participating, because there is really far, far too much at stake. If every DME/HME provider and dealer will cooperate and work diligently as a team, we can get these bills passed, and then when we convene at the Medtrade Exhibition next month, we can make that meeting a celebration! Can we do this? YES, we can!

Get on board, and we will win.

Don't forget to use the promo code, SHELLY, when you register for Medtrade to receive a Free Expo Pass.