HME News

SEP 2018

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 / september 2018 / www.hmenews.com 19 O c t . 1 5 - 1 7 , 2 0 1 8 n g e O r g i a w O r l d c O n g r e s s c e n t e r n a t l a n t a 2018 By Jeff Rowe, Contributing w riter ATLANTA – More HME providers are incorporat- ing cash sales into their revenue streams. But at Medtrade in Atlanta, in "How to Drive Two Trains at Once," Michael Scarsella, national sales director for Compass Health Brands, will step it up a notch and explore the complexity of a blended cash sales and third-party pay business model. HM e n ews: When it comes to cash sales in the HME industry, is it better to be 100% cash or some percentage of cash and third-party payers? Michael Scarsella: It isn't necessarily that one way is better, but how to build a more realistic blend, and how to build in more cash without abandoning third-party payers. HM e : Where do you think most providers stand right now, in terms of that blend? Scarsella: A lot of providers instinctively know what their current blend is, but most haven't taken the time to separate the two revenue streams. More need to dig in and actually do the grunt work to make the right decisions. HM e : Cash can still be viewed as a unicorn by some in the industry—why shouldn't that be the case? Scarsella: There were a few years where peo- ple thought cash was going to be a savior, but in reality, it's just another channel that needs By John And R ews, Contributing e ditor ATLANTA – Medtrade exhibitors sound bullish about this year's trade show and conference because they see opportunity in meeting with attendees about how to optimize the HME supply chain going forward. In fact, some are chomping at the bit to set up their booths at the Geor- gia World Congress Center, Oct. 15-17. "Medtrade continues as an extraor- dinary opportunity to interact with our providers in person," said Renae Sto- rie, director of field sales and strategic accounts for Pride Mobility. "Medtrade remains a wonderful resource for pro- viders to obtain the latest product knowledge and business strategies that fuel their growth. We're thrilled to continue being part of that process." P.J. Ruflin, director of sales for Sunset Healthcare Solutions, says more than ever he values personal interactions like the ones that occur at Medtrade. "We must continue to collaborate to tackle the industry's challenges," he said. "Medtrade empowers the inter- actions necessary to continue moving forward in the smartest way possible." Brightree will be holding its annual summit at Medtrade, so education and networking is valuable to the company, said Rob Boeye, executive vice president J ohn And R ews, Contributing e ditor T HE n AT u RE of Medtrade may have changed since it started, but the value of it for HME providers hasn't, Group Show Director Kevin Gaffney says. The show, set for Oct. 15-17 at the Geor- gia World Congress Center, has gradually transformed from an on-the-floor sales exposition to a networking and informa- tion exchange, but it retains its essential purpose, he said. "Information gleaned through formal education and networking has gained in importance," Gaffney said. "Connections Show connections are form of capital Exhibitors see plenty of opportunity for interaction of home medical equipment. The show also provides an effective platform for showcasing new products, he said. "We will be announcing new products and services that empower the HME pro- vider to streamline and optimize busi- ness processes and deliver exceptional outcomes for their patients and referral sources," Boeye said. "This show gives us the forum to demonstrate these trans- formative tools for our customers and prospects so they can see how to power their profitability and become more rel- evant in the healthcare industry." As Medtrade has evolved over the years, it has always showcased the best technological advancements in the industry and this year the role of tech- nology is more important than ever, said Wayne Bai- ley, director of client ser- vices for Bonafide Manage- ment Systems. "The opportunity for growth has never been high- er, but it requires a level of innovation that many pro- viders have not considered until now," he said. "I'm very optimistic about the HME industry, because I believe that tech- nology such as ours will allow providers to serve more people and have a greater impact on patients than ever before. The combination of business technology with HME providers is truly a win-win situa- tion for everyone." HM e What retail is, and isn't attention. What's exciting is that there are opportunities to multiply channels to drive revenue. HM e : How do you view the possibility of mass online retailers like Amazon increasingly get- ting into the healthcare space affecting cash sales in the HME industry? Scarsella: Like everywhere else, it's reality. You have to know how you're positioned against the online world. There's a significant role for the specialty store, the personal touch. HM e : If attendees take away one thing from your session, what should it be? Scarsella: n umbers don't lie. It's about digging into your current perfor- mance and finding opportunities for improvement. HM e Michael Scarsella National Sales Director, Compass Health Brands t uesday, Oct. 16 4 pm to 5 pm Session: "How to Drive Two Trains at Once" Contact: 605-275-0187 michael.scarsella@compasshealthbrands.com are a form of capital, as is inspiration and the abil- ity to commiserate with providers who are going through similar challeng- es and looking for solu- tions that work." To encourage interac- tion between attendees, Medtrade has adopted "Focus" as a theme—a three-day immer- sion in HME issues away from the office. "There's no doubt we live in a digital age, with a lot of information available at our fin- gertips and social media makes connecting with friends and colleagues easy," Gaffney said. "However, I think what is old school has actually become new school—a recogni- tion that cementing or starting relationships face-to-face has real value." In sensing the HME industry's mood heading into this year's show, Gaffney says "curiosity" might be the best word to describe it, given that new CMS rules are expected to allow "any willing provider" to participate in Medicare for an approximate two-year gap period before the next round of competitive bidding begins. That curi- osity, he said, can be satisfied by attending seminars and special events, and meeting with reimbursement experts. As in the past few years, Medtrade will be emphasizing retail as a viable commercial option for HME companies, Gaffney said. "Providers are getting the message that this sector is growing, and they clearly want to get more involved in retail," he said. "Retail is not just putting items on a shelf and hoping customers come, it's so much more and we will have the experts on hand to help providers learn all the nuances of adding a retail component to their busi- ness model. We intend to feed this interest with what we hope is the right amount of emphasis." Based on survey results from last year, Medtrade's three-day length seems to fit the bill for attendees, Gaffney said. "We tried to avoid those fourth-day blues by adjusting the hours to fill three days and largely succeeded," he said. "We want every- one to leave wanting more, so the three-day format seems to be working. That said, we could go back to four days someday depend- ing on how the industry evolves." Last year's cash giveaway show-ender proved to be popular with attendees, Gaff- ney said, adding that another one will be held this year, "which is a great way to end the show on a note of excitement." HM e Kevin Gaffney 'Old school has actually become new school—a recognition that cementing or starting relationships face-to-face has real value' Speaker S potlight "The opportunity for growth has never been higher, but it requires a level of innovation that many providers have not considered until now." w ayne b ailey, b onafide m anagment s ystems Next month: More speaker spotlights, a chat with Jeff Baird on conference session high- lights and Medtrade product debuts. It isn't necessarily that one way is better, Scarsella says, but how to build a more realistic blend and how to build in more cash without abandoning third-party payers

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