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Providers rethink product choices

Providers rethink product choices ‘I’ve found it more important to ensure having multiple backup brands’

HME NewspollYARMOUTH, Maine – A majority of HME providers have expanded the number of brands they carry in the past year due to ongoing supply chain issues and price increases, according to a recent HME Newspoll. 

Nearly 76% of respondents say they now carry more brands than they used to. 

“While efficiency is better with fewer brands, I’ve found it more important, especially in the past year, to ensure having multiple backup brands ready at a moment’s notice,” wrote one respondent. 

One-third of respondents say they carry three to four brands for their main product category and 14% say they carry more than four brands. 

Another issue driving the need for a more robust product portfolio: a recent recall of certain CPAP devices and ventilators by Philips. 

“Pricing, availability and recalls give you no options if you use one product for a category,” wrote one respondent. 

Respondents say they’re ordering in bulk to minimize the impact of both supply chain issues and price increases. 

“We try to double the amount we would normally order,” wrote Ted Oury of Diamond Medical in Arkansas. “This (also) cuts down our costs a little bit.” 

One respondent noted that having a more robust product portfolio makes more than logistical and financial sense. 

“Our main category is CPAP supplies, and we’ve always carried a mix of Respironics, ResMed and F&P products because each patient needs an appropriately fitting interface,” wrote Ryan French of Jim’s Pharmacy and Home Health in Washington state. 

Still, for the majority of respondents, there’s no denying supply chain and other issues have very much shifted their priorities for buying products in the past year. 

“It used to be you bought based, No. 1, on your manufacturer sales rep relationship and then price, because you got a good price based on your relationship, and then logistics,” wrote one respondent. “Now you buy based on, No. 1, logistics and then relationship, with the rep serving as an advocate, and then price.”


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