Medtrade Spring preview: Keep reserves
LAS VEGAS – Although considerable challenges exist within the HME industry, astute companies can still find prosperity in the market, provider Steve Burman says.
Burman, CEO of Aston, Pa.-based Burman’s Medical Supplies, will sit on a panel at Medtrade Spring to discuss “Success Stories in HME: How Providers Have Grown in the Face of a Declining Industry.” Through “persistence, integrity, productive paranoia, hyper-focusing and outstanding service,” he has managed to keep his company viable amid a chaotic and inhospitable HME environment.
Ahead of the event, Burman shared some of his thoughts with HME News.
HME News: What’s an example of how your company has grown in the face of industry challenges?
Steve Burman: Through our outstanding customer service—most notably in regard to our clinical knowledge of wounds. We are a resource to our referral sources in making the most appropriate choices in supplies. If your customer service team is better than your competition, then you will grow. Naturally, this is not the case in a competitive bidding atmosphere and our business has not been impacted as much as the rest of the industry.
HME: What has been the key to your succeeding despite the challenges?
Burman: Persistence, integrity, productive paranoia—understanding the need to keep reserves. While we don’t know what crisis is around the corner, we understand that a crisis will occur. We are hyper-focusing on what we do well and not jeopardizing our service by taking part in competitive bidding program business
HME: What is the role of your leadership in that success? The role of your employees?
Burman: My role is to empower my employees to perform their jobs as close to 100% correct as possible in a style and schedule that works for them. My role has included creating new programs that are clinical in nature and that benefit all interested parties by delivering better outcomes at a lower cost. Employees need to constantly keep up with industry changes and remember we are here for the patients first.
HME: What new challenges do you see down the road?
Burman: One of the biggest challenges is educating insurers so they understand that we are not suppliers—we are health providers made up of pharmacists and nurses who understand how difficult it is to create good outcomes.
HME: Why is the HME industry worth sticking with?
Burman: Providers furnish more than equipment or supplies. It’s almost shocking to me that anyone actually believes a mega provider can deliver more value than a focused independent provider. Our challenge and goal is to prove that our services actually do provide better outcomes at a reduced cost to our healthcare system.
HME: What’s the one thing you want attendees to take away from your session?
Burman: If you’re passionate about your ability to be part of the healthcare solution, that will provide the energy to succeed.
CEO, Burman’s Medical Supplies
Monday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Session: “Success Stories in HME: How Providers Have Grown in the Face of a Declining Industry”