'These products are just getting hotter and hotter'

Sunday, April 8, 2007

SARASOTA, Fla. - Harmar Mobility spread its wings recently and embraced a whole new world: lifts that help people in, out and about their homes.

"Our core business has always been vehicle lifts, making mobility products mobile," said President Chad Williams. "Now we are getting into making homes accessible."

To handle this new emphasis on home accessibility, Harmar created a new company: Harmar Access. The company's three products include bathroom lifts for bathtubs and commodes; a porch lift set to debut at Medtrade Spring this month; and a stair lift set to hit the market later this year, Williams said.

With Medicare ratcheting back reimbursement for mobility products, it makes perfect sense for providers to offset those cuts by selling profitable big-ticket cash items like lifts, Williams said.

"All these products are just getting hotter and hotter," he said. "They might as well handle as many products as they can for their customers. Otherwise, they are just turning away business."

When it comes to lifts, providers sometimes believe they are difficult to install and opt not to carry them, Williams said.

"We hear all the time that, 'I don't have anyone who can run a welder and drill holes,'" he said. "Well, most of our products don't require any drilling at all. They come fully assembled and ready to go."