Saturday, April 30, 2005

Clinical background no prerequisite for sales

In (April issue) there is a "Special Report" on the HME sales rep. I wanted to comment on the story. The individuals mentioned in the story seem to really have a good grasp of their market and understanding of what the marketplace in their cities demand. My comment is this... You do not have to be a clinician in order to perform well in this industry. I intentionally do not hire clinicians for sales positions. We have nine sales reps in our company and they all have various backgrounds. They all also have the same compassion and understanding about patient care, reimbursement, technical expertise and finesse without being a clinician. My sales staff are a former youth pastor, interior designer, health insurance salespeople, communication salespeople, three right out of college, military personnel and homemaker. We are located in the Southeast in a very large metro area and all are very successful. So, in summary, I believe with the right heart and compassion for the patient that anyone can be successful in this industry, and they do not have to have letters at the end of their names!

-- Andrew Simmons, Jr., v.p. of field operations, Cornerstone Medical, Inc.


Retrain to sell

The special report, "One of a kind, The HME sales rep," by John Andrews should be read and studied by every DME/HME dealer. The changes hanging over the head of all DME/HME dealers by HHS or as a consequence of MMA, though frightening and threatening, have to be the impetus to develop OTC cash sales. How better to do this than by sending out salespeople? The market is begging for DME/HME dealers to educate and show them how to comply. ADA and OSHA both provide a big compendium of reasons for the DME salesperson to visit every industry in town. At a Chamber of Commerce meeting the dealer will meet many business people who are seeking the best way to be in accord with all local and national requirements. Rather then downsize a company by reducing the number of employees, train these team members and teach them how to go out and sell.

-- Sheldon Prial, director of government relations, Graham-Field Health Products


Slower sales, or not?

We were pleased to see your brief coverage of CHAD Therapeutics' third quarter earnings on page 45 of the March issue; however, I feel I should address a few misleading statements. As a publicly held company, it is extremely important to us that correct information is reported for the benefit of you readers.
HME News stated CHAD reported that sales of the SAGE Therapeutic device were "slower than expected," which is untrue. Earnings guidance was revised based on a change in delivery schedule of one large purchase commitment, which stretched earnings from this order into the future. Overall, SAGE response has been strong, and sales have exceeded our initial expectations.
Secondly, the article identified the SAGE Therapeutic device as a conserving device. While the SAGE incorporates pulsed oxygen delivery technology, it is not a conserving device, just as an Auto-PAP is considered separate from traditional CPAP in function and application, even if both are reimbursed as CPAP devices.
I appreciate your cooperation in printing our concerns in an upcoming issue of HME News. I know your publication would not wish to purposely misrepresent results of our our quarterly announcements, and therefore you will address this matter in a timely fashion.

--Earl. L. Yager, president & CEO, CHAD Therapeutics

Editor's Note: Due to editorial space constraints in the last issue, HME News omitted the following quote by Earl L. Yager from the announcement of CHAD's 3rd quarter results: "Sales of our SAGE Therapeutic Device are increasing, but were below our expectations for the third quarter because a customer that placed a large order earlier in the year is taking delivery of the devices at a slower rate than was originally planned." We remain comfortable with the fact that our news, which reported that sales of the Sage device were "slower than expected," is consistent with Yager's published statement. Additionally, HME News continues to refer to CHAD's Sage device as a conserver because the device is billed under the same code as a conserver.


A grim future?

The recent observations regarding the viability of independents in the HME sector is certainly getting a lot of attention. I can only think someone should have told the thousands of independent owners, employees, and their suppliers that their future is grim. While nationwide statistics can be helpful...they have little to do with your patch of the world, save for identifying coastal trends.

--Vince Crew, founder, REACH Development



I just read your editorial titled "Not Funny". Describing competitive bidding as "selective contracting" still gives a positive connotation. Being selective, in most instances, is a good thing. A better term would be "exclusionary contracting".

--Brent Mattox, president, Reimbursement Services, Inc.