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Retail: Treat every transaction as opportunity

Q. Is HME retail a real concept or just a myth?
 - 
09/26/2014

A. In my experience networking with providers who are considering a retail division, there are four common myths that I keep hearing.

You must bill insurance for everything possible

Resupply: Show patients you care

Q. How do I build patient and referral source loyalty?
 - 
09/26/2014

A. Live. A simple word, but not so simple to achieve. Most HME owners I speak with have a hard time keeping up with who walks in the door, answering incoming calls and taking care of what comes through their fax machines.

Sales: Express genuine interest

Q. What qualities does a good salesperson possess?
 - 
09/26/2014

A. The qualities and skills of a good salesperson are the same, regardless of the product being sold. There is a traditional misunderstanding about sales.

Lobbying: Plan in advance for meetings

Q. Is it more effective to meet with legislators in-district or in Washington?
 - 
09/26/2014

A. Recess, especially the long August recess, is a great time to schedule a meeting with your elected officials in their home district office (start in early July as their calendar gets booked up quickly).

Lobbying: Emphasize impact on constituents

Q. Why is it important to build a relationship with my elected officials?
 - 
09/09/2014

A. A wise consultant in our industry once said that if a portion of your business is funded by the federal or state government, it is important to develop a relationship with the people who influence policy—your elected officials.

Sales: Mind your body language

Q. What are some of the characteristics of a good retail sales person?
 - 
09/09/2014

A. A common mistake I hear from HME providers expanding into retail is they put all their energy into selecting the right location and having the correct products, but do not put any thought into how they will staff their new retail location. 

Resupply: Stay in touch

Q. How can resupply optimize my initial CPAP setup?
 - 
09/09/2014

A. If you do not have a proactive resupply program, odds are you will lose your CPAP patient. A resupply program is most successful when implemented with a patient at the very beginning.

Retail: Cultivate retail culture

Q. Is adding a retail division going to be successful for my company?
 - 
09/09/2014

A. With the the baby boomers aging and their disposable income at an all-time high, it is not a question of whether HME retail will be a successful venture, it’s more a question of whether it’s a good fit for your business.

Training & education: Be willing to go the extra step

Q. How can education help me compete with online retailers?
 - 
06/20/2014

A. Brick-and-mortar retailers are often frustrated when customers use their stores as a showroom for their later purchases online. What if online price cutting isn’t the only reason your customer decides to leave a store and shop online instead?

Collections: Tailor your communication to the patient

Q. How do I keep my patients happy—and paying?
 - 
06/20/2014

A. Happy patients pay. And they return. And they tell others about their experience. Remember, patients are consumers first.

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