Patients, products and payers: Three essential elements of success

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We operate in a highly complex industry facing a complicated and seemingly ever-changing landscape of challenges to navigate. As you go about your daily business in this environment, it can be easy to forget that success is dependent upon the same three essential elements it always has been. It all comes down to the patients you dedicate your efforts to, the products you provide and the payers you work with for reimbursement. If we lose sight of these simple elements of the business, the complicated can quickly become the impossible.


The growing demographic of aging baby boomers is well documented and well known throughout our industry. By the numbers, the patient base is poised for exceptional growth. However, to fully realize the potential, providers must look for ways to serve an even more diverse range of clients. The bariatric market represents a growing demographic itself and is an excellent example of an area where your business may have room to expand. Consider partnering or building relationships with local consumer groups to distinguish your company within the community. With just a bit of creativity you can pave inroads to new clients.


To meet the needs of a growing client base while maintaining maximum business efficiency, providers need the right product mix. You should look for high-quality, high-performance products that are designed specifically to meet a broad range of needs and make the most of the initial investment.

With the current rental environment, standard power products must have durable, robust motors and features that protect the most at-risk components from damage. The product warranty and service options should also be geared to protecting the provider's initial investment with extended coverage for the 13-month rental period. Product refurbishment should be modular and easy to complete to maximize service efficiency.

The right retail products are also essential. The boomer demographic has displayed its desire to maintain an active lifestyle and the willingness to pay out of pocket to do so. Low-cost, high-quality products that deliver options and accessories for up-sale are an excellent way to generate revenue for your business.

If you are a rehab provider, maximum efficiency can be found when you work with a company that provides one-stop shopping. When you are getting your power base, seating and positioning components, and drive controls from the same manufacturer, you are streamlining the process and can work more quickly to meet a patient's needs.


To accomplish your business goals in the challenging reimbursement environment, you must understand and diversify payer sources. Retail sales, Medicaid, private insurance, managed care and workers' compensation are just a few of the many other outlets you can expand into other than Medicare. By diversifying into other pay sources, you won't have all of your eggs in one basket.

However, all efforts should be made to ensure that Medicare remains in your payer mix. Again, the demographics show that the senior population will likely present the biggest opportunity for your business in the future.

By understanding the ways you can capitalize on these three essential elements, you can develop a business plan that will not only help you maintain and grow your business in this challenging environment, but will have you positioned for long-term success.

Ted Raquet is senior vice president, domestic sales, for Pride MobilityProducts