Think you've got it bad, try consumer electronics
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - As tough as it is to make a buck in the HME industry these days, it could a lot worse, Drive Medical CEO Harvey Diamond told HME News TV recently.
"I think the people who look ahead and put their heads up realize that this is still a good industry," Diamond said. "The demographics are still in our favor. If (providers) look at it in a new way, it won't be as easy and profitable as before, but it is still much better that being in, shall we say, consumer electronics."
(When it comes to falling revenue, very few industries can compete with the consumer electronics market, where one year's must-have is the next year's dog. Just consider: Revenue for plasma televisions has declined 24.9% from $12.2 billion in 2009 to $9.2 billion in 2010, according to market research firm iSuppli.)
Going forward, Diamond said, HME providers must do two things to survive and thrive. They must work with manufacturers who not only sell them products, but also show them how to approach the business differently and make money.
"It's not only about items that are reimbursed," he said. "It's about items that sell for cash, that people are looking for to help their loved ones. There is disposable income out there, and people are willing to buy products for cash to make life continue on easily for those people."