I asked this year’s slate of speakers for the HME News Business Summit what different avenues they think HME providers should be exploring, and what risks they should be taking.
Here’s how you can hit the sweet spot and other words of wisdom.
Young boomers provide customer base with longer life cycle
“HME providers should be thinking and executing ‘differently.’ In a time where technology and the power of choice, search, and selection are moving faster than the speed of light, providers should be exploring their differentiations, both online and traditional, as well as generationally. How do I mean generationally? Well, baby boomers are in the sights of all, but are they really the users of these products and services? Some yes, but remember, baby boomers are defined by being born between 1946 and 1964, which gives us a rough gap of 50 to 70 years old. Most 50 year olds do not need these products or services—yet; however, they are much more tech savvy than the older generation in this group. Because of this, my suggestion is that providers should target these young boomers now, but target them for their parents, aunts, uncles, and relatives because more than likely, they need these items now. By creating and fostering a relationship with younger boomers now, an HME provider will have already created a solid brand image and commitment to care, which will prove beneficial down the road when this ‘tech savvy’ younger boomer needs products for themselves, thus giving the provider a customer base with a longer lifecycle.”
Justin Racine, Geriatric Medical
Technology is your friend
“Our industry, partly because of the extreme cutbacks, is lagging significantly in its use of technology. The two spots I’d invest in right now would be security around my data, as well as mobile solutions for equipment delivery and inventory management.”
Ryan McDevitt, Laboratory Tactical Consulting
Don’t figure it out as you go
“They should look at merging and consolidating their businesses with other DMEs whose businesses complement theirs but provide services and products they aren't involved in and are outside Medicare competitive bidding. That makes more sense than trying to diversify into new areas and figure them out as they go.”
Mike Kuller, Allstar Medical Supply
Hit the sweet spot
More from Kuller: “Companies need to build their size to create economies of scale to survive in the post-competitive bidding era, particularly when the pricing goes beyond the 101 MSAs in 2016. The sweet spot seems to be about $10 million or greater in annual revenue with diversified services.”