BARBOURSVILLE, WV – After almost a decade in business, Regina Gillispie, RRT, has seen her fair share of ups and downs in the DME world. As owner of Best Home Medical, Barboursville, WV, and Best Medical Equipment in nearby Hurricane, Gillispie has dealt with change through education and advocacy.
“I am a member of The MED Group, VGM, AAHomecare, and I usually go to Medtrade,” she says. “It really helps to have access to all that knowledge that Medtrade and those groups provide. On the legislative side, I’ve met with Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) a couple of times, and with Rep Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep Nick Rahall (D-WV). I spoke with Manchin’s office so much that my son ended up doing an internship at his office last Summer.”
Competitive bidding has taken a toll on Gillispie’s 12-employee operation, with the 3,000-sq-ft Barboursville location falling under the program. After bidding on everything except rehab, they won no contracts. “We have a lot of local DMEs in West Virginia,” explains Gillispie. “Competitive bidding pretty much went to the nationals, and to out-of-state providers. Some of our patients have been with us for six years, and they just don’t understand why they are being told that they can’t stay with us.”
Despite the difficulties, involvement in trade shows and member service groups have helped her to persevere. “In the last three years I have gone to Medtrade Spring, and I plan to go to Atlanta for Medtrade [Oct 20-23] this year,” says Gillispie (pictured left with her son and the WVU Mountaineer). “Last year, I loved the Vegas show. It was one of the best that I have been to. I really got a lot of information, and I got a lot of one-on-one time because it is a smaller show. You get to spend time with the vendors and the new products at Medtrade Spring.”
Owning two businesses leaves little room for free time, and Gillispie says with a laugh that “My 20-year-old son just told me I need to get a hobby.” Cheering for the home state WVU Mountaineers counts as one pastime, and Gillispie reveals that “it gives me an excuse to go check on my son.”