How to march the HME industry forward

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The constantly evolving HME market, combined with competitive bidding, requires manufacturers and providers to look at their businesses differently. No longer are the days of simply delivering product and billing for reimbursement. Success in the HME industry looks much different than it has even in the last five years. The focus on providing value through innovative solutions in the form of products and services will help allow the industry to provide quality patient care.

Providing value for sustainability

Manufacturers in the HME industry will find success now and in the future through developing innovations. Introducing products and services that demonstrate the ability to help alleviate some of the daily stresses placed on providers play an important role in the success of manufacturers.

Providers should seek out manufacturers who offer innovative products and solutions that give the provider access to critical information about product performance and other key informatics to assist in asset management and allocation of personnel resources. The result can be improved service capabilities that providers can offer the patient and discharging entities.

Providing value for clinical efficiency

Manufacturers who place an emphasis on providing clinical value products for patients position their businesses for success by assisting in easing the burden patients face while providing confidence to discharging facilities. A clinically effective, easy-to-use product combined with features that are intuitive and designed to help minimize stigma associated with medical products helps encourage patient compliance.

Providers who utilize robust clinical solutions for their product offering are actively working to promote effectiveness through the full value chain. No longer can providers only focus on select aspects of profitability—a total cost of ownership mindset must be implemented into a provider’s day-to-day activities. Every truck roll, patient phone call, or deployment of an incorrect or non-effective solution costs time and money. Patient readmission for poor therapy compliance can strain relationships with therapists, while impacting the funnel of patients who are referred to a specific provider. Working with manufacturers who understand a provider’s needs and who can provide innovative solutions can help positively impact the full value chain for a provider.

Providing value for patient care

Providing value in the HME industry goes beyond just a manufacturer and provider relationship. This same thinking applies to the patients who use HME products, too.

A manufacturer whose focus is to provide products with sustainable value for patients will also see providers benefit from advancements such as integrated informatics or connectivity, as well. These same products that showcase a manufacturer’s commitment to the HME industry, when transferred from a provider to a patient, gives patients and caregivers a helping hand to be more independent. A confident, independent patient who trusts in and therefore utilizes their medical device can help streamline providers’ asset allocation and ultimately the value chain.

Ed Armstrong is vice president, product & channel marketing at Invacare, where he has primary responsibility for the Post-Acute Care commercial business, including Home Health and Institutional channels. Reach him at earmstrong@invacare.com.