Providers set priorities for 2019

‘We can’t do anything about reimbursement, so fix what we can’
Friday, December 21, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine – Despite the large number of unknowns for the year ahead, the majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they’re forging ahead with plans to grow their businesses.

Expanding their footprint topped the list of priorities for 2019 for 26% of respondents.

“We are going to be adding product lines and getting into new areas,” wrote one respondent.

Others say they’ll grow by delving further into other payer markets.

“Our main goal continues to be to increase hospice, retail and facility business to gain a larger share of our local market,” wrote one respondent. “Our territory continues to expand simply because patients can’t find suppliers closer to them.”

A number of respondents (17%) said they plan to ramp up marketing and social media to keep up with shifting trends in buying.

“Such platforms will influence 80% of buying decisions,” wrote one respondent.

Another 17% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of technology as a way to better serve their customers.

“Every need varies by patient and being able to fine tune offerings to meet their expectations in a meaningful way will bring greater satisfaction and deliver the intended results,” wrote John Specht, president of Specht & Associates in Ohio. “Staying current in trends and equipment will keep me on track.”

With reimbursement so low, 19% of respondents said they will prioritize reducing expenses.

“The only way to maximize profit is to control the things we can control,” wrote Jason Jones, president of Jones Medical Supply in Alabama. “We can’t do anything about reimbursement, so fix what we can.”

For some, reducing expenses means taking a hard line against unprofitable business.

“Getting more business is the easy part,” wrote one respondent. “Dealing with low reimbursement is the problem. We are starting to say no to more funding agencies.”

Another 17% said their top priority was selling their businesses.