HME News

DEC 2017

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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HME NEWS / DECEMBER 2017 / WWW.HMENEWS.COM 19 Business Development Incontinence Market wide open for incontinence, wound care Wound care BY JOHN ANDREWS, Contributing Editor W HILE THEY have separate iden- tities, incontinence and wound care have evolved to become an integrated part of one large contiguous category in the HME spectrum. Furnishing a complement of diverse prod- ucts, such as adult briefs, urologicals, wound dressings, skin creams and emollients, along with pressure support surfaces, establishes a provider as a complete resource for patients at risk for serious skin problems. Together, these products address the pre- vention and treatment of skin shear and breakdown that lead to chronic wounds. What's more, these conditions dovetail with patients who need products from the major HME categories, like mobility, respiratory and rehab. Providers that see the market with this holistic view can not only build a reputation as a complete dermal health resource, but also stake a signifi cant share of the market, spe- cialists in the fi eld say. "HME providers win when they are able to offer great service for a range of prod- ucts at a cost that helps them stay whole, while supporting their community," said Lisa Wells, vice president of marketing for Newport Beach, Calif.-based Cure Medical. "Manufacturers in this space need to create cost-effective solutions and we have made that our mission." The catheter manufacturer is committed to a strong supply chain for urologicals and forg- ing a "true partnership" with HME providers to "keep our partners from having to sacrifi ce more areas of support for end users so that they can run a healthy business," Wells said. HME providers' business in this category can grow through a complete understanding of their product lines and how patients can benefi t from them, said Mark Palumbo, man- ager of corporate accounts for Elyria, Ohio- based Invacare. "Understanding the customer's needs and wants is key," he said. "Consider the patient's condition and what products would be help- ful for them to have, such as over-bed tables, lifts, bathroom safety products, and dispos- ables. When their focus is on the bed, custom- ers don't always think of the need for these products. Sometimes, the convenience of delivery at the same time as the bed is worth the additional cost." BIDDING IMPACT The infl uence of Medicare competitive bid- ding has reached deeper into some segments of the incontinence and wound care category than others. While support surfaces have felt a stinging blow, the urological business has so far managed to escape the bidding process. For support surfaces, "the obvious nega- tive impact is lower margins to operate a bid- winning company, with less choice for the end user," Palumbo said. "In some cases, a lack of providers has caused an increased wait time in getting the product to the patient. Com- panies no longer rush out a bed trusting that the paperwork will come through and Medi- care will pay the correct amount on time. Less margin means this is a risk providers can no longer take." "On top of that, there's a service compo- nent that seems to get lost in the shuffl e," he continued. "On paper, some people see the cost of equipment acquisition and a monthly allowable. Pickup and delivery of the equip- ment, service calls, replacement costs and employee time, are not taken into account. At the end of the day, the patient may suffer, product choices become nonexistent and they are locked into one, or a limited number, of providers." Due to the lobbying efforts of an HME coalition consisting of United Spinal, Spina Bifi da Association and AAHomecare, the uro- logical segment has managed to be excluded from competitive bidding, though it had been scheduled to be part of the program in Janu- ary 2017. The expectation led to a fl urry of direct-to-consumer acquisitions in the urol- ogy space, Wells said. RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES? The limitations of competitive bidding for supplying support surfaces could conceiv- ably bring more retail sales into the market, but at this point Palumbo isn't sure exactly how vigorously it will develop. "The need for homecare beds and support surfaces will continue to grow as the popula- tion ages," he said. "Access points to equip- ment and how it is paid for will likely con- tinue to evolve. For those with the fi nancial means, skipping the complication of insur- ance coverage and exploring retail may seem appealing, but there will always be a large part of the population that relies on the Medicare benefi t they paid into their entire lives." If there is one sales channel that HME pro- viders might have overlooked, it is the local long-term care market, Palumbo said. "Logistically, providers can act as a ware- house with next- or same-day delivery service and repair capabilities," he said. "This fi lls a void and provides a service not typical on a local level for long-term care facilities." HME CATEGORY Incontinence, wound care WIDE BERTH ■ Spanning the spectrum: HME providers serving the incontinence and wound care markets are playing a role in integrating the concept of preventative and treatable dermal health for patients who need various product types, including adult briefs, urologicals, topicals, wound dressings and support surfaces. By bringing these products and services together under one umbrella, the provider establishes a reputation for being a complete resource in the category. BIDDING BUGABOO ■ Confronting reality: With support surfaces covered by Medicare competitive bidding, the HME companies selected to serve the wound care population face lower margins, while benefi ciaries have fewer choices. These providers need to seriously evaluate their service components and compensate accordingly to preserve fi nancial health while meeting the needs of their patients. RETAIL OPTIONS ■ An evolving market: Because the need for support surfaces from an aging population will keep demand strong, patients with the fi nancial means may opt out of Medicare to get the products they want. HME providers should also look at alternative sales channels, such as long-term care distribution, to supplement their wound care business. CMB Solutions INNOVATIVE EHEALTH ■ Real-time outcome reporting, emailed notifications for customized patient contact by IVR, email, text or coaches. ■ Campaigns include NPWT/wound care follow up and supplies, incontinence replenishment, and pressure mattresses/ bed setup satisfaction surveys. ■ Integration with any industry vendors, billing software, fulfillment service and physician referrals. Principle Business Enterprises / NovaGran Wound Products ZORFLEX ANTIMICROBIAL CARBON CLOTH DRESSING ■ Naturally antimicrobial and contains no antiseptic agents. ■ Kills microorganisms at dressing surface, which are then removed with each dressing change. ■ Exhibits no donation of chemical agents or fibers to wound bed and is non- cytotoxic/completely safe to use. Hollister Incorporated APOGEE ESSENTIALS ■ Smooth eyelets for comfortable insertion and withdrawal. ■ Sliding sleeve for added control. ■ Hydrophilic coating for smooth lubrication. Principle Business Enterprises TRANQUILITY SMARTCORE DISPOSABLE BRIEFS ■ Ideal micro- climate is achieved as the breathable sides provide air-flow, allowing heat to escape. ■ 34-ounce capacity core absorbs moisture keeping skin dry and maintaining skin integrity. ■ Longer wear-time allows for uninterrupted sleep, positively impacting overall health. Cure Medical CURE ULTRA COUDE FOR MEN ■ Ready-to-use, pre-lubricated. ■ Control stripe for insertion accuracy. ■ Sizes: 12FR – 18FR. cure-ultra-men/ First Quality PREVAIL AIR ADULT BRIEFS ■ 100% breathability. ■ AirMax layer enhances microclimate care by locking in liquid, while allowing air, heat and humidity to escape. ■ Expandex wings soft, flexible stretch panels provide a secure comfortable fit and allow more wearers to fit into fewer overall sizes. Beds Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare BALANCED AIRE SELF-ADJUSTING, NON- POWERED COMPETITOR MATTRESS (ITEM # BA9600-NPCM) ■ Four, foam filled, tri-laminated air cells self- adjust with patient's weight to redistribute pressure. ■ One-inch top layer of hybrid visco-elastic memory foam offers optimal comfort and immersion. ■ Features high-density foam perimeter for safe transfers, 6.5-inch to 5-inch heel slope to redistribute pressure from vulnerable heels. Compass Health Brands ULTRA-CARE PERIMETER PLUS THERAPEUTIC MATTRESS SYSTEM ■ Combination mattress system provides both alternating pressure and low air loss surrounded by a high-density foam perimeter. ■ Five-inch alternating pressure ventilated upper surface combined with an integrated 3-inch foam base provides a full 8 inches of therapeutic support. ■ Supports up to 450 pounds. HCPCS Code: E0277. MOXI Enterprises SELECTAIR MAX ■ Firm mattress mode with timer facilitates care during dressing change and repositioning. ■ Upright patient mode adds support when the head of the bed is elevated so the patient can sit upright with no loss of therapeutic benefits. ■ Keeps patient cool and dry as air escapes from the top of mattress. Other

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