Consultants call it as they see it
National competitive bidding and other reimbursement cuts haven't shaken outside interest in the HME industry, particularly for niche products like TENS devices and mail-order diabetic supplies, according to industry consultant Roberta Domos.
"We haven't slowed down at all," said Domos, owner of Domos Consulting Group in Redmond, Wash. "We're juggling six or eight start-ups at any given point."
Even for more traditional HME like oxygen equipment and CPAP devices, which Medicare plans to competitively bid in 2011, interest remains strong, Domos said.
"They're thinking, 'Well, competitive bidding isn't in my area right now and when it is, we think we'll be able to compete."
- Liz Beaulieu, Editor
Dynamic Seminars & Consulting President Louis Feuer has little patience for sales reps who are more full of excuses than leads.
"We've got sales reps out there saying the market is dried up, people are out of work, it's bad economic times," observed the HME sales guru. "Well, has he gone to the Catholic service bureau? Assisted living? Does he have a list of all the long term care facilities and Area Agencies on Aging and Jewish family services? Every religion has its own social service agencies. Have they gone to all the senior centers?"
The excuse that really gets Feuer's goat: The rep who's not selling anything but claims he's "maintaining" existing accounts.
"I'm thinking, maintenance?" he said. "He's probably costing them $75,000, and he's doing maintenance? If he can't sell, and there is nothing to sell, why is he in sales? If it's just maintenance, why not hire a 23-year-old customer service rep and pay him $25,000?"
- Mike Moran, Executive Editor