When it comes to the Better Business Bureau, HME can hold its head high

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11/18/2009

I'm a statistics geek so when I saw a reference to the Better Business Bureau on TV the other night, I decided to visit the group’s Web site to see if it included any information on home medical equipment. And guess what? It did.

I found HME buried in the BBB’s 2008 Statistics (the 2009 edition isn’t out yet). This voluminous document runs 92 pages and includes about 3,840 “Industry Descriptions.” I say "about" because the entries are not numbered, so I did some estimating based on the number of entries on each page.

buy Countess Dracula As far as I could tell, here are the report’s relevant categories (when it comes to rank, the higher the number the better):

Boot Camp psp Diabetes Services & supplies ranked 586 with 6 complaints
Hospital & Medical Equipment & Supplies ranked 163 with 1,042 complaints

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Oxygen Therapy Equipment ranked 581 with 11 complaints.
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Prosthetic Devices ranked 564 with 28 complaints
Wheelchair Lifts and Ramps ranked 543 with 49 complaints.
Wheelchairs: ranked 518 with 74 complaints.

Not bad. I'm not sure what the nature of the complaints were, but it would be nice to see Hospital & Medical Equipment & Supplies improve its rank a little. On the positive side, this industry settled 70% of the complaints filed against it, which looks very good relative to other industries. We all make mistakes. The key is to own up and make it right.

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Here are the rankings of some other industries. The comparisons to HME are not apples to apples because these industries, for the most part, are much larger, but they are interesting none the less:

Airlines: 34
New Care Dealers: 2
Used Care Dealers: 7
Banks: 3
Credit Cards and Plans: 15

Dentists: 50
Extended Warranty Contract Service Companies: 194
Fishing Bait: 584
Retail Furniture: 8
Hair Curlers: 583
Insurance Companies: 27
Internet Shopping: 4
Pizza: 190

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Telephone companies: 9
Television-Cable: 5

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I kind of doubt CMS will look at these statistics and say: "Hey, those HME guys treat their customers pretty good." But it is worth noting that when it comes to the BBB ranking, the U.S. Government comes in at number 530, right in line with HME.

— Mike Moran

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