Enable me targets cash biz

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. - When it comes to helping HME providers expand into the growing home modifications business, Enable Me is as close to a one-stop shop as you're likely to find, said Jerry Keiderling, president of The VGM Group's U.S. Rehab.

"It's not only based on a wide assortment of good quality product, the technical education is tremendous," Keiderling said.

The Web-based Enable Me (www.enableme.com) launched in April, but its coming out party was VGM's Heartland Conference in June.

Enable Me offers almost every product a provider might need to help keep a person in his home and out of an institution: furniture, walk-in bathtubs and roll-in showers, power cabinets that move up and down, kitchen appliances, plumbing hardware and more, according to Mike Laky, general manager.

"That is part of the attraction," said Laky, a former HME provider who also heads up MLS Associates, an independent rep firm. "Before, you'd run down to Home Depot and see what you could find there. You'd run over to the plumbing distributor. You'd have to go to some other place, and then there are some items you might not even know exist out there."

With 76 million baby boomers slated to retire over the next 10 years or so, home modifications offer providers a great way to generate cash business and offset cuts, Keiderling said.

Enable Me has a code of ethics to ensure that providers and contractors do good work and, importantly, only work that is required, Laky said.

"One of our questions when doing an evaluation is: Does the individual have the financial means to stay in their home after a modification?" Laky said. "If Mrs. Smith doesn't have the means to stay in her home beyond two years, all we did is hurt her."