HME News

FEB 2019

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 / February 2019 / www.hmenews.com 9 Surf's up on new online opportunities g uest commentary By Eli Dia C opoulo S an D Ji M Do T y E - C o MMERCE V olu ME has qua- drupled in the last decade. "Buy it Now" buttons pop up like mush- rooms in every online experience. Pro- spective purchasers of nearly everything expect to find both informational and transactional channels online. This "Amazon Avalanche" is real, and it's happening now. Businesses in every industry everywhere have decisions to make—decisions that will make the dif- ference between surfing this wave to new success and being swamped. Here at Philips, we're well accustomed to change, having reinvented the com- pany multiple times over in the last 20 years to meet customer and patient needs. That's why we've recently updated our patient education website, C o PDinfo. com, and linked it to an e-commerce site, healthstore.philips.com, to meet these contemporary market expectations. But within that change is one reliable con- stant: We're supporting our DME custom- ers to better participate in this inevitable next-generation of business by advising them on marketing strategies, sharing online educational resources, and invest- ing in online and other media advertising. o ur early readings of online data only confirm the wisdom of such action. First, the fact that consumers/patients are already consulting online educational resources at all is an obvious indication of some unmet need. And second, our analy- sis of online activity paints a picture of an anxious, sometimes frustrated consumer, navigating from page to page in search of a substantial answer to an obvious ques- tion: How can I make my life easier, more comfortable or more productive? Now that connected consumers are seeking information and solutions online, it's important to educate patients about the best choices for their needs. We have invested much into educating consum- ers through online education and multi- media advertising, and we can see the uptick in consumer interest. Since our CMS upends competitive bidding Agency pauses program with plans to implement significant changes, including some that stem from industry recommendations WASHINGTON – All Medicare- enrolled HME providers are back in business starting Jan. 1, 2019. CMS's Seema Verma: Current bid structure 'not sustainable' WASHINGTON – CMS Administrator Seema Verma says she wants to "modern- ize" the agency's long-standing competitive bidding program for DMEPOS by instituting market- oriented reforms. CMS releases final bid-related rule WASHINGTON – CMS has released the anxiously awaited DMEPOS/ESRD Final Rule— without increasing payment amounts in former competitive bidding areas during the gap period. Amazon wants to disrupt health care, including DME, report says BOSTON – DME is one of five possible points of entry for Amazon to dominate the health- care market, according to a new report from global management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting. e-commerce site debuted this summer, we've had about 2,500 clicks on the "find near you" button, which identifies nearby DME providers for consumers. We've also fielded about 500 calls that resulted in the consumer reaching out to their DME for support. So, in total, Philips has helped thousands of consumers learn about our products and support options. o ur move is a natural response to indus- try trends. Forrester research tells us that when a manufacturer advertises directly to its end-user consumers, it instills con- fidence in the customer's shopping expe- rience and, ultimately, helps generate traction, greater brand awareness, and incremental sales for channel partners. In fact, 55% of survey responders said it positively impacted channel relationships. At the same time, we fully understand that this is not just a cash-only transaction. These are prescriptive devices. We are focused on enabling consumers to make the best choice to personalize care for themselves. So, if they choose to buy from a local DME, online DME, or direct from manufacturer, they are making the best decision for their care. Given the current marketplace, Philips is intent on increas- ing awareness and improving access to our leading C o PD products and meeting this consumer need in the manner that best meets the needs of consumers. We believe this strategy creates a ris- ing tide that lifts all boats, and DMEs will realize improvements as they con- tinue to be an indispensable partner to their patients. Philips is generating new C o PD advertising and patient education materials to be shared with DMEs so that they educate their current patients to uncover their patients' needs before someone else does. Moreover, our refreshed patient edu- cation content and tools will help boost overall demand for Philips products pur- chased from our DME customers. We all want to make the patient experi- ence to be the best it can be. Investments in online education, brand awareness and tools that help the patient find DMEs benefit all parties. u nderstanding where health care is going is crucial to making smart decisions today. Philips looks at the big picture to spot trends and uncover insights that inform our work and sup- port the goals of our DME customers. As part of Philips' strategy to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025, we are always looking for new ways to increase access to DME care and Phil- ips products. That requires an enhanced online presence. DMEs remain our most important customers, and we believe innovative collaborations where manu- facturers and care providers connect the right levels of care, at the right times, better serve societal needs and improve patient outcomes. Business is not a static universe, but as things change we're mak- ing sure our DME partners will succeed along with us. hme Eli Diacopoulos is vice president, general man- ager, Respiratory Care, Philips. Jim Doty is leader of North America marketing, Sleep and Respiratory Care, Philips. Since our e-commerce site debuted this summer, we've had about 2,500 clicks on the 'find near you' button, which identifies nearby DME providers for consumers Eli Diacopoulos Jim Doty Most read stories of 2018 2018 WILL LOVE OUR DATA! 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