ROHO's Borcherding on growth

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If you're a complex rehab provider and you think you're fighting the fight alone, you're wrong. The ROHO Group's Tom Borcherding, who was recently promoted to president, told HME News last month: "I think manufacturers and providers have to be aligned and at the table together. We're both trying to fight for the well being of the people we're trying to serve." Here's what Borcherding had to say about how, in these uncertain times, manufacturers and providers need to work together, and why one of their focuses should be growth.

HME News: Your previous position with The ROHO Group was senior vice president of global medical sales. How will your role change now that you're president?

Tom Borcherding: No. 1, my role is to sustain the success of the company and the brand, and continue to build value in those on a global basis. And then No. 2, my role is to create an environment for significant growth. We have the financial commitment from our leadership to be a substantially larger organization, so a clear part of my role is to lead a business development mentality within the company that drives growth.

hme: Growth must be a hard thing to think about when a lot of people are just trying to keep their heads above water right now.

Borcherding: You have to have a growth strategy. While the market itself is growing incrementally as people age and there is more demand for the equipment, that's offset by all the erosion in reimbursement. That limits the opportunity for the core growth of our businesses, so we have to have a path that identifies new growth opportunities--new markets to enter, new product areas to enter. We can't just rely on the growth that, traditionally, we've been able to achieve.

hme: Speaking of erosion in reimbursement--how can providers and manufacturers work through that together?

Borcherding: The biggest thing that we can do right now is be cohesive as an industry of manufacturers, providers and clinicians, and bring the user voice into the equation, and fight for our lives to get better reimbursement programs in place.

hme: How do you get that done?

Borcherding: We have to change the mindset, at the federal level, of rehab equipment as an area where we cut reimbursement to rehab equipment as an area that will improve the lives of users and make them even more productive members of our society. hme