Durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies is a competitive industry, made even more so by the bidding process set by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The MMA requires durable medical equipment (DME) businesses to submit bids to provide certain items and supplies to Medicare beneficiaries living in competitive bidding areas. For them to be awarded contracts, these businesses must first undergo and pass a rigorous screening process.
While the act has improved the Medicare program, it has put many DME providers out of business. Unable to meet accreditation requirements, they were forced to close their doors for good.
However, there are still plenty of successful DME businesses today, and the following are some of the things they are doing to survive and thrive in the increasingly competitive DMEPOS market:
They are quick to adapt
Organizations that can’t keep pace with the ever-evolving world of business risk being left behind by the competition. This is especially true during tough times, when finding new and better ways to serve patients is vital to staying afloat and maintaining a competitive advantage.
For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed DME providers to make quick changes to their services and processes. Among these are adopting contactless delivery practices and issuing personal protective equipment to clinicians who set up DME in patients’ homes. Also, some providers have turned to cloud-based platforms that allow their employees to work remotely. Such changes have enabled DME businesses to continue operations through this global health crisis and emerge ahead of their competitors.
They target their offerings
Back in the day, DME providers offered a full line of products, from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to walkers to bedpans, regardless of the profitability of or demand for such items. Today, however, many DME companies have drilled down to specialty products, offering items that provide better value to customers. Eliminating underperforming products have created opportunities for cross-selling, resulting in increased revenue.
To illustrate, a DME that specializes in CPAP machines may also offer supplies and accessories such as CPAP pillows and mask liners to make therapy more comfortable for patients. These items can be bundled with a CPAP machine and offered at a discounted price.
They focus on patient experience
Providing excellent customer service is a great way to differentiate your DME business from the competition. It also builds trust and loyalty among your patients — those who’ve had a positive experience with your company are likely to refer you to other people, expanding your client base and driving up your sales.
Good customer service entails not only addressing issues and concerns, but also taking a patient-centric approach. This means listening to and gathering feedback from patients, and explaining their options so they’re empowered to make sound decisions regarding their healthcare. Building a collaborative relationship with patients gives them a better overall experience, which has been linked to improved clinical outcomes.
Providing excellent customer service is a great way to differentiate your DME business from the competition.
They leverage technology
Technology has done wonders for DME providers. From customer resource management software to billing and coding programs, there’s a wealth of IT solutions your company can employ to make day-to-day operations more efficient. Having streamlined workflows will result in enhanced productivity, optimized cash flow, and improved competitive capacity.
A mobile delivery app, in particular, is something modern DME business should consider. With a mobile app that’s integrated with your DME management system, your staff will be immediately notified when patients place orders, check the availability of the items, and confirm orders in just a few clicks. Speedy and accurate service is something your patients will appreciate — and it will also set you apart from the competition.
They work with key industry players
Successful DME businesses have strong, active partnerships with other players in the industry. These DME providers work closely with manufacturers and take advantage of resources the latter offer, including training programs on the proper use of the equipment, supplies, and accessories they produce. Through these, the product knowledge of providers and their staff improves so they are better equipped to explain the features and benefits of various DME to patients.
What’s more, many DME providers are taking advantage of resupply programs offered by companies such as Revsuppliance. By enrolling their patients in a resupply program, they ensure complete and on-time delivery so patients get the equipment they need when they need it. Not only that, but patients will also be contacted regularly to ensure that they’re using their equipment properly and complying with therapy requirements.
Gain an edge over the competition by partnering with Revsuppliance. Give us a call today for more information and to schedule a demonstration: 405-467-1791.