Diabetes Plus has got your back

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WARREN, Mich. - Diabetes provider Mark Gielniak thinks he's found a new product line that will appeal to his customers--and his bottom line.

His company, Diabetes Plus, in November began carrying the BioBack, an off-the-shelf orthotic aimed at reducing lower back pain. Gielniak likes the sturdy construction of the product, which he says offers better support than traditional elastic compression garments

"People who carry excess weight tend to have back problems and most people who have Type 2 diabetes have excess weight," said Gielniak, vice president. "This is an added beneficial product for our customers."

Other parallels between diabetes and low back pain include age, stress and deconditioned muscles, according to Rick Gerace, president of Dublin, Ohio-based Medolutions, which manufactures the BioBack.

For Diabetes Plus, the new product is a natural extension of the service they already provide for not only diabetes products but also therapeutic shoes.

"We'll do a fitting with them to make sure they understand how it works," said Gielniak. "We can do that in the shop or go right to their home."

Diabetes Plus has been marketing the product to existing customers and referral sources. Gielniak has also been able to target a few new referral sources: chiropractors and orthopedic physicians. Still, he thinks the best advertising will come from the customers themselves.

"We have been asking patients for feedback and telling them to let us know," said Gielniak. "If they really like it, we tell them to let their doctor know. They may have other patients who would like this."

Medicare will pay for a new BioBack every five years, and it's also covered by private insurance. It comes in two sizes, has a removable washable cover and comes with a carrying case and instructional DVD.