It's all in the execution

Red Heat hd Hardly an issue of HME News goes to print without one or more stories about providers who are diversifying their product mix to, hopefully, make up in one area what they’re losing in another. See the upcoming December issue, for example, for a story about a rehab provider who’s getting into mail-order diabetic supplies (He has even submitted bids in all 10 competitive bidding areas). More and more, providers are diving into cash products, due to an increasingly hostile Medicare environment. I spoke with one such provider earlier this month.

The provider told me she had added a new cash product to her showroom to complement more traditional mobility equipment. I suggested we print a photo of her using the product and a caption describing her attempts to survive reimbursement cuts and changes by thinking outside the box. The provider, however, didn’t want to appear in HME News; she didn’t want to tip off her competitors.

We have providers say this to us every now and them. Each time, we wonder whether they’re doing themselves, or the industry, any favors. One of the most valuable features of the HME Business Summit sponsored by HME News are brainstorming sessions for boosting revenues (think expanding your cash business by filling oxygen tanks for fire departments and ambulance services) and reducing expenses (think using the U.S. Postal Service to deliver small, non-technical equipment). Maybe more importantly, if providers were more open to sharing not only ideas but also data, would they be in the position they’re in now? How can the industry get the cost effectiveness of home care to resonate with Congress without transparency?

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When it comes to sharing ideas, providers should know, at the very least, that there are few business secrets these days, regardless of the industry. It’s all in the execution.


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