Down a complex rehab rabbit hole


I started down an unsuspecting path last week when I interviewed Chris Blackmore at Merits about the company’s entrance into the complex rehab market.

I should have known this would be a bigger-than-I-realized story, given our coverage of Shoprider getting into the market in 2014 through ROVI, and our coverage in the January issue of Drive Medical shooting for a more formal presence in the market in 2016.

But it wasn’t until I talked to Chris that I started putting 2 + 2 together.

So I called Cody Verrett at ROVI to see how things were going for that new entrant in the market. “The product is going in the right direction,” he said. “We’re seeing steady increases in all the right metrics—quotes, orders and amount of product shipped per day.”

Then I called a number of others to talk about why we’re seeing all these new entrants in the market. So far, the going reasons range from the obvious (shelter from competitive bidding pricing) to the interesting (the downfall of The Scooter Store has meant an increase in the number of Group 3 wheelchairs being prescribed).

Then I got to thinking: Who has the most to lose from these new entrants in the market? A call to Quantum Rehab and Permobil may be in order.

But like Martin Szmal said, “I don’t think there’s any down side to having more competition and more selection in regard to the beneficiary, as long as they’re not me-too products and they’re bringing something new to the market.”

I need to make other calls, but keep an eye out for a story about Merits and one or two other stories in upcoming HME Newswires and the February issue.

Stay tuned.