Stretch into long-term care, speakers advise providers

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

ATLANTA – HME providers are experts in caring for patients in their homes, so offering their services to residential care facilities should be a no-brainer of a business opportunity, a panel of speakers told Medtrade attendees on Monday.

“Providers tell me they lack confidence to match the product to the resident,” said Karen Lerner, regulatory vice president of pressure prevention for Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare during “Get into the Stretch Zone: Why aren’t you renting and selling to your local LTC and SNFs?”

But product is actually secondary to the provider’s ability to help LTCs, which, along with patient care, have other goals like staff retention and satisfaction, profitability, and compliance, Lerner says.

For example: The two biggest causes of 30-day readmissions at LTCs are pressure sores and falls, she says.

“Those are both very fixable with DME,” she said. “Educate them on the benefits of fall prevention—you have an opportunity to teach that.”

Old model vs. new model

While LTCs and SNFs historically buy equipment from large national distributors, smaller providers can shift their mindset from simply buying the cheapest product with the click of a button to the cost effectiveness and value-add of partnering with an HME provider.

“Facilities have a lot of financial constraints,” said Tony Crisitello, senior vice president, LTC division, for Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare. “If you can do anything to help them improve their balance sheet, they’ll talk.”

Local advantage

The LTCs and SNFs in your own backyard are the obvious place to start, particularly if you already have referral relationships with the rehab, OT/PT and other professionals working for them.

“We’re already in the neighborhood, (tell them), ‘Let us help you too,’” said Ben Pardus, supervisor of decision support for MedCare Equipment Company. “You can get it there quicker than the other guys.”