Transform Your Brand

Building a Stronger Support Surface Business

Too many DME providers are in the Group 1 and Group 2 support surfaces "by accident".  They treat the support surface category the same way they might treat hospital beds, wheelchairs or walkers… they compete on service.  Competing on service may be an effective way to get more business in some categories, but not in Group 1 and 2 surfaces.  Providers who choose to take more than a reactive or transactional approach, and who progress beyond the role of "order fillers" will be rewarded with a disproportionate share of referrals for one of the most profitable categories left in DME.

By understanding simple, objective information about the various existing support surface technologies, DME providers can serve as equipment experts for referral sources.  We can teach clinicians how to match the right technology, the right therapy and the right product to the appropriate patient. This will transform a DME provider's brand from "order filler" to "consultative expert and partner".  It is a role we should have embraced as an industry long ago.  Instead, too many of us brought pens and doughnuts to discharge planners and told them how quickly we could get our trucks to their patients' homes to facilitate discharge, relegating our industry's brand to that of UPS.

Of course there have always been exceptions…providers who have used their expertise to educate and inform, and who have used knowledge to ask questions about each patient referred to them to ensure the absolute most appropriate support surface was matched to each patient.  The few providers out there who did were rewarded with two things: 1) lots of support surface orders, and 2) lots of post-payment audits.  Even these "best-in-class" providers in many cases have been punished for their admirable efforts with audits, and many are understandably now "afraid" of the support surface category.

You have the ability to transform your own brand and build a profitable and successful support surface business.  You have the ability to arm yourself with the tools necessary to thrive in the face of competitive bidding and audits.  It can start with support surfaces and trickle down to other parts of your business.  Make the decision to stop filling orders and start taking an active role in the health care supply chain.  Clinicians do not take classes in DME.  It is up to us to make them aware of what technologies exist to help redistribute pressure for their patients, and it is up to us to teach them when to use which of the many options at their disposal.  Contrary to many clinicians' belief, "low air loss" is not the best therapy for every single patient that has a pressure ulcer.  Likewise, those wonderful "air mattress" prescriptions that we have all received are a red flag for a clinician who needs a resource.  There are opportunities to teach, and by seizing them we transform our brand and build successful businesses, while tailoring and optimizing the therapy that each patient receives.


Drive Medical's Road Map to Success

A Comprehensive Support Surface Business Program that will Help You Transform your Business:

You don't need to be a clinician to run a support surface business. But we help you to understand what a pressure ulcer is and the basics of staging, so that you can interpret the Local Coverage Determination and determine whether a client qualifies for a support surface under Medicare.

We will explain the medical justification needed to qualify a client for Group 1 and 2 surfaces, so that you can educate the clinicians who often limit the market by not ordering support surfaces when they should, as well as the documentation requirements and post payment audit protection strategies needed to run a successful and sustainable business.

We will provide objective information about each support surface technology and therapy for you to understand the advantages and limitations of each one.

We will match a specific product’s features to benefit a specific patient population.

We will use this information to grow your support surface business:

  1. Ask the right questions when taking an order
  2. Brand your company as a knowledge resource, not as an order filler
  3. Cross sell ethically so that "everyone" wins ("everyone" = patient, clinician, referrer, payer, facility, and DME provider)

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