Direct to your door

Sunday, August 31, 2008

LAS VEGAS--In an industry increasingly known for mail order, a new provider seeks to set itself apart by hand-delivering diabetes supplies to patients and providing educational resources to help them manage their health.

“We actually deliver directly to the patient,” said Robb Miller, founder and CEO of Diabetic Life Supply, which received Medicare approval in March and currently serves 255 patients. “It actually makes us more accountable to the patient.”

When Diabetic Life Supply receives a referral, it works closely with doctors to provide patients with the appropriate supplies. If a patient’s information is submitted by 2 p.m., the provider can often make deliveries that same day or by the following morning.

Patients who are frustrated by the unresponsiveness and errors sometimes associated with mail order have been converting to Diabetic Life Supply’s home delivery service, Miller said.

Diabetic Life Supply makes home deliveries work, despite sky-high gas prices, by being as efficient as possible. Right now, it has one driver who makes about 21 deliveries in two-and-a-half hours.

Still, Diabetic Life Supply seeks to invest in routing software and a hybrid vehicle to reduce fuel costs, Miller said.

Through a partnership with the nearby Diabetes Treatment Center, Diabetic Life Supply also intends to begin an educational campaign targeted at the city’s Hispanic population, where lack of knowledge and denial about diabetes is prevalent, Miller said. Miller lost a Hispanic friend last year due to complications from diabetes.

“It’s not a fast killer and you wither away, literally,” he said. “I just don’t think people grasp the long-term effects.”