Home access market primed to explode

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Friday, November 1, 2019

ATLANTA – VGM’s Jim Greatorex likens the current status of the home accessibility market to the complex rehab market 15 years ago.

“It’s only reached 15% of its potential,” said Greatorex, vice president of VGM Live at Home at Medtrade on Oct. 21. “All the companies that we work with, they all had record-breaking 2018s and they say they’re going to break their records again for 2019.”

Current estimates peg the home access market at $700 million annually. Greatorex expects that to triple by 2025 and then double between 2025 and 2030.

A big reason for that growth potential: Only 4% of homes in the current inventory can accommodate a senior with a mobility impairment, Greatorex said. This, when falls are the second leading cause of ER visits for people 65 years old and over, he said.

“Falls are the highest cost to the healthcare system outside of cancer,” he said.

Despite 67% of people over 55 saying they can afford to remodel their homes, funding remains a barrier to the home access market’s growth. The Medicaid waiver program, workers’ compensation, Veterans Affairs and private pay are all options, Greatorex said.

The market also needs to make strides in dismantling a disconnect with the OT and PT markets, he said.

“There are some therapists that don’t feel like you can have any home accessibility work done unless therapists are involved,” he said. “That’s not necessary.”

Greatorex noted that there are a number of players in the home access market—most notably the franchise 101 Mobility, which has 72 locations—but no one has it cornered yet.

“NSM has hired a prominent OT to develop a clinical protocol (for this market),” he said. “What’s going to be the model that we can replicate? It’s a really cool entrepreneurial business; in most markets, there’s plenty of room; and it’s fun.”