Thursday, May 29, 2014


I never realized how easy it is to lose a customer. Sometimes just one wrong word will do that. As an entrepreneur, the principal of a fine DME location in your town, you have probably earned a great deal of respect.

You must retain this approval, and the only way to do this is to give courtesy and attention - respect - to others in return.

Your customers, your competitors, as well as your employees all look to you for directions and information. They have a great deal of regard for you and hold you in esteem. Do you have the same for each and every customer?

While visiting a DME dealer in upstate New York, I watched an efficient employee work as he helped a customer obtain necessities for their bathroom. The customer asked about a raised toilet and then the salesperson showed a few related items. A nice sale was transacted and the customer thanked him.

Then I watched the same salesperson working with an older gentleman, who needed protection as he had a tendency to leak urine. I heard the sales person say, "Oh, you pee in your pants," chuckling as he spoke. I saw the older gentleman looking aghast and I am sure he never stepped into that store again. He received no respect.

I have visited many DME/HME locations and without any doubt, I know how all of them treat their clients. They are successful because everyone who enters their showroom for anything are treated with courtesy and attention.

My father opened his retail Pharmacy in 1920 and closed it in 1970. Every customer for the fifty years he was in business were treated as if he or she was his only customer. He never had a harsh word for anyone!

The respect went both ways.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are about 550 districts in the United States. Each of these districts sends a single congressman to represent them. Do you know the name of your congressman?

I am asking each and every DME/HME dealer or provider to earn a reward. This reward will protect their company and have the ability to get through this critical year successfully. No one wants to experience failure! "Failure has no friends." - John F. Kennedy

H.R 1717 must be passed. If this bill does not get to Congress and approved, too many dealers and providers will find it very difficult to continue their operations. They may be obliged to close their doors. This should not happen! What a great reward you will receive when your efforts prevent that from happening.

To date, we are short the number of Congressmen necessary to get this bill passed. Each of the 550+ districts has at least six or more DME/HME dealers. They all have their future at stake! I ask that in every district the dealers pick up the phone and contact their Congressman! In every one of the districts, the Congressman has an office. The address and phone number can be found in the telephone directory, or on their website.

Make an appointment to visit the local offices and meet the staff that are your direct communication to DC. Do not hesitate! You have to protect your company, your employees, your clientele, and their family caregivers.

Contact AAHomecare and your state DME association before you go. They will provide you with all the facts and key points to be effective. Your congressman will recognize that you are in a very strong position to influence votes. Without votes, they won’t be elected.

But the most important thing is that YOU MUST do this! Unless our industry is capable of getting HR 1717 passed, our future becomes very bleak. We have failed twice and if we do not succeed now it will be a disaster.

I know that when you read this and respond, our industry wins. If you share this message with all your peers and gather them together into a team, as was done in my district in Florida, we will win.

I want to celebrate with our industry when we have earned that reward at Medtrade in Atlanta. It MUST happen and I am asking that in each of the districts, DME/HME providers roll up their sleeves and make it happen.

YOU CAN DO THIS! There are no options! The reward at stake is the future of your company, and a most important industry!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Get On Board

Lethargy, it appears that many DME/HME providers are victims. According to the Webster Dictionary it us a great lack of energy or perhaps abnormal drowsiness. But personally I see lethargy as an excuse for not getting on board and then complaining why so little is being accomplished.

One of the pleasures I enjoy is receiving e-mails or phone calls from DME/HME dealers throughout the country. Invariably they tell me, with a great deal of pride, that they have taken the time to respond to the call to “get on board”. They are speaking out and working with the leaders. So should every dealer!

They report: I spoke to my Congressman’s office, they understood and promised to pass on my request.”  Then usually in a day or two later another message was received: The Congressman will support HR 1717.” Your voice has been heard!

The difficulty I have is rousing enough dealers to “get on board“ and join the fray with AAHomecare and their state DME association. Make the phone calls, send the letters, get your employees involved and even better, get your customers to join you. Then we will succeed! You will help make the difference!

It is estimated that there are more than 15,000 DME/HME companies in the United States. I think that may be a low number, but … and this is the problem; how many of them are dues paying members in AAHomecare? How many belong to their state DME associations?

Look at the other similar groups who are much more successful in getting Congress to support them! Why? If we could get at least 75% membership of the DME dealers in the US to join both AAHomecare and their state association, we, too, will have our voices heard. If not, the future is bleak! “Get on board” now, there is no tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2014

More Fly-In

The past few days, I have received a number of messages from several state DME associations. Each of them was very positive about what was accomplished at the Washington Fly-In sponsored by AAHomecare.

I am very cognizant of how much it costs to send a delegate to DC. I know how many dollars are spent when participating, but don’t look upon that as an expense! The few pennies spent are an investment to keep your company solvent! I knew all the employees and their families who worked with Thelma and I. We had to protect them! We also treated each of our clients as personal friends. Our responsibility was to protect each and every one of them. This has always been my driving force and it should also be yours!

Obtaining positive results can make a major difference for every DME/HME dealer. The problem is that not every DME/HME dealer is currently a dues paying member of AAHomecare and their state DME association. They do so much with the limited funds they have. They will be able to do much, much more when their membership grows. No company can stand alone! To allow positive things to happen, you all must join.

The other side of the coin is bleak! To date, I have seen too many DME/HME operations closing. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN! If we do not get H.R. 1717 passed this year, it will be a severe blow to our industry. There are many other difficulties to be resolved. Don’t sit by idly and twiddle your thumbs. There is no one else - It is up to you!

The dues for membership are insignificant, especially when compared with results. I feel sometimes that I am preaching to the choir. Please do not sit back and wait for someone else to do things. Invest in your future! Hesitation in these critical days can be fatal!

I ask that all DME/HME dealers and providers get on board now so that in October, at the Fall Medtrade Exposition, we will be able to stand proudly with all the attendees and exhibitors.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014


It has been several years since I last joined AA Homecare to participate in their Legislative Conference (WASHINGTON FLY-IN). This has proven to be a most effective way to get to see as many congressmen possible. The way that AAH provided handouts, scheduled most of the appointments and then carefully explained to all of us just how to make the presentations to be effective. They did a terrific job! They did this again this year.

I received a summary of the activities this year from Jerry Hall and the Florida delegates he traveled with. This team worked with the Health L.A. or the Chief of staff in each office they visited. They are the important personnel in each office in DC who can carry your message. Locally, you will discover that there is a similar office not very distant from you. A visit there has always been fruitful! In my district in Florida a number of DME/HME dealers work closely with our Congressman through his local office.

One of Jerry’s team objectives was to ask other Congressmen to co-sponsor H.R. 1717. The reports I received were very positive. They met several Congressmen and both Senators from Florida. They were all very encouraging. The Congressmen who have already signed on to HR 1717 were also asked to contact all the others who did not sign on (not just from Florida). Currently we have 174 co-sponsors and we need 218. Please contact your representative and if you need their number contact your state association or call me (321-259-7127). It is that imperative that this bill is passed! MAKE THAT CALL ASAP!
Watch this video from AA Homecare on important information about following up with your representatives.

The task we have always faced was how to get elected officials on our side. This was often accomplished when we told them how many senior citizens, Medicare, and other patients we service. We also expanded our list by including family caregivers. To stay in office, Congressmen need votes. Working with us is how better they can earn them. This worked very nicely for us and it will work for you. Votes are the keys to them staying in office.

I know that if every DME/HME dealer will become more active we will be able to get H.R. 1717 passed. We have to do this because if we fail again this will be fatal for many dealers. They might be forced to close down their operation and the loss of income and employees is too frightening to consider. Let us not allow this to happen. Get on the team and everything can be changed to the positive. If you are not currently a member of your state DME association and AA Homecare please do it now! I know at Medtrade in Atlanta there will a great amount of time dedicated to aid you in becoming a more active dealer.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I often wonder if anyone reads the blogs we send. In the past few weeks, I did receive a few messages pertaining to my efforts to obtain new members for the state DME associations and AAHomecareThank you!
I would appreciate hearing how you feel about this; “belonging and participating”. Please send me your thoughts ( It is really important to obtain this kind of feedback, because I need to know how my readers feel and appreciate hearing about new ideas to build membership. Share them with me.
I understand how difficult it is to spend the dollars necessary to become a dues paying member. The truth is that if you do not join STAT and work with them, you face the potential loss of your business! DME/HME dealers and providers need to get bills passed in Congress, which will bring about an efficient cash flow (reimbursements) for your services.
Becoming a member of AAH and your state DME association is not just paying fees. These funds are important, but even more valuable is that you can provide another pair of hands and another voice! When doing that, you will get better results. By working together with the guidance of AAH and your state association, you will change the legislation choking our industry. If these changes are not accomplished, too many honest DME/HME dealers will be forced out of business.
There is a professional point of view to which your accountant will agree: The dues and costs paid to be a member of a business organization (AAH and your state association) are considered a normal part of running a company. Your accountant knows how to use that!
Join now, and invite all the dealers in your community to participate as well. You all face the same dire fate, do not let it happen! 
I want to see you all this fall at Medtrade. October 20-23, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bipartisan or Bi-Partisan

I hear this word being used constantly by politicians. Since we only have two major political parties, Republican and Democrat, I have to wonder exactly what it means when they use this word.

The first place I looked for an answer was in the dictionary. Where else could I have gone? Is it spelled with a dash ("bi-") before "partisan" or is it two words or one word? I never resolved that, so I will use “bipartisan” without a dash. My Rotary Club gave third graders a lexicon called “The Best Dictionary for Students” and it wasn't even in that. 

The Easter holiday for Congress in DC is now over and the senators and congressmen are returning to their offices. They are telling all their community they have “bipartisan” support and now they will be able to get their bills passed. What do they mean by the term "bipartisan"?

Congressmen and senators are nominated by a political party (R or D), and then after the vote, are elected to work in DC for all the citizens. We have two senators for each state and one congressman for every district (about 550 in the U.S.). However, I see them lining up and getting ready to battle for what they feel their constituents want, but NOT for all the electorate.

This is my question: Do they represent every citizen or only those who voted for them? I bring this up because this weekend I saw a number of politicians being interviewed on TV, and they all used the term BIPARTISAN.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Please Join Forces with Tom Ryan and AAHomecare

As I try to review the history of the American Association for Healthcare, one thought keeps running through my mind: How fortunate our industry is to have an association like AAH to lead and direct it! 

Yes, we certainly are lucky. Now when our industry, HME/DME, is fighting a battle for survival with CMS (Medicare), we have a new leader to guide us. The problem we face is that CMS does not understand why the funds they have available are insufficient. How many of the reimbursements they have paid are legitimate? Follow and support Tom Ryan as he addresses this!

According to the newspapers, maintaining the military is the largest expense for the government. Supplying health care via Medicare is the second highest major expense, and it's only growing! What did they do? Delaying payments put it on the backs of hard working and honest HME/DME  providers.

The money CMS has belongs to all the beneficiaries and their health care providers, not to the miscreants and thieves who are being paid for fraud and abuse. I have made my position clear and specific; we need standards and licenses.

At Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas, Tom spoke to a standing room only crowd as he opened the meeting with the Washington Report. I hope that many of you were in attendance for this. I walked out with a smile recognizing we found the leader we sought.

On the evening of AAHomecare's annual fundraiser, STAND UP FOR HOMECARE, Tom made it very clear about his plans. Now it is up to all of us to make it possible for TOM RYAN to achieve his goals. You and I are the beneficiaries of all his work. Every DME/HME provider, manufacturer, and citizen who requires Medicare must get involved.

I am asking - No - I am begging, that if you are not currently a member of AAHomecare and your state DME association, please become one STAT. You have to provide your dues so that you will be able to remain in business. If not, your company may be one of the many that will be forced to close! This is a frightening future. WE CANNOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN!

We have a fantastic leader in TOM RYAN. Get on his team and we all will benefit. Need I say more?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

The United States has so much in common with our neighbor Mexico. Our history is filled with the many instances in which we and Mexico have been involved.  

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862, in the battle of Puebla. Since that day, the United States has developed a great relationship with Mexico and I hope it will always be there.
On Cinco de Mayo, 87 years ago. Ettie Prial gave birth to a son and she he named him Sheldon. Today I begin my 88th year, and together with my beautiful wife Thelma, we look forward to the future. We will be celebrating our 64th anniversary of marriage, and it seems like this was only yesterday. Two children, four grandchildren, and so many friends. I have been blessed!

I have never received so many “Happy Birthday" greetings as I did this year. My LinkedIn connection brought a waterfall of messages. It was like a cornucopia, filled with greetings. I tried to acknowledge each, but if I unintentionally missed you with my “Thank You”, please know how much I appreciate all the good wishes.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dirty Money

I recently read a most interesting article in Florida Today, my local newspaper, entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”

The opening words are “Talk about dirty money.” I could not put the paper down until I read every word. No, it was not about dishonesty. I write often enough about leaches who find ways and means of getting reimbursements from CMS and Medicare that have not been earned. Those people are outright thieves and we must find a better method to keep them out of DME.

Researchers at NYU identified more than 3,000 types of bacteria on one-dollar ($1) bills. That is only a “small” number since they reported there are so many microorganisms have not yet been identified. We are passing germs back and forth to one-another all the time.

A dollar bill in the United States stays in circulation for about 21 months. Coins can always be used (just see how much some older coins are worth today). It costs the Federal Reserve $826 million annually to replace 7.8 billion bank notes. Using coins (as they do in the UK and Europe) will save sufficient dollars annually which perhaps can then be used to speed up reimbursements to DME/HME dealers.

A couple years ago, when the one-dollar coins were first minted, I started to use them. Initially there was a great deal of “what is this you are giving me,” and I had to explain that it is an American dollar. Today I no longer carry many green bills. I try to use coin dollars almost exclusively. These have been recognized as “coins of the realm.”

I am now really pleasantly surprised to see how they have been accepted. So, I say that as health care professionals, we can help bring about a change (not small change!), in how money is handled. No more dirty money!