Moving the HME Industry Forward


Nifty Niches at Medtrade

July 7, 2014

ATLANTA – Cultivating a niche market is not easy. Providers who dabble will likely not succeed, but those willing to put in the proper training and capital investment can establish a profitable business.

These so-called “niche markets” may represent a side business, or in some cases they may blossom into the main business. As a new track among Medtrade’s educational sessions, niche markets will cover: home modifications; therapeutic footwear; ventilation services; support surfaces; home accessibility; and home evaluation/aging in place.

Educational Sessions in the New Niche Markets Track
Home Modifications – Essentials for Success
An in depth look at the “Four Essential Aspects of Marketing for Success” in this marketplace.
Presenter: Bill Stelzer (pictured, left), coach/owner, Bill Stelzer Consulting and Ahia
“Retail/home modification business is ideal because it has a cash/credit basis for sales,” says Stelzer. “There is no red tape.”

Integrating Modern Therapeutic Shoes into a Comprehensive Treatment Plan for Diabetes Patients
The presenter will explain how a clinician can recognize and assess who may benefit from therapeutic shoes and/or foot orthoses.
Presenter: Dennis Janisse, CEO & president, National Pedorthic Services, Inc

Is Your HME Company Providing Quality Ventilation Services?
More and more companies are providing noninvasive and invasive ventilation to their patients. Is your home ventilator program providing value while reducing your risk?
Presenter: Susean Nichols, president, Millennium Management Services

They’re not Mystery Ulcers – They’re Pressure Ulcers: How to Sell More Support Surfaces
Why isn’t every seated dependent client sitting and sleeping on a pressure redistributing support surface? A thorough inquiry will incorporate acute and long term care, hospice, rehab and home health perspectives as it relates to DME and rehab practitioners.
Presenter: Karen Lerner, regional vice president of Pressure Prevention, Drive Medical Design and Manufacturing

“Too many DME providers are doing Group 1 and Group 2 support surfaces ‘by accident,’” says Lerner. “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…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, the right product, to the appropriate patient,” continues Lerner. “This will transform a DME provider’s brand from ‘order filler’ to ‘consultative expert and partner.’ It is a role we should have embraced 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.”

Avoid Pitfalls and Develop a Profitable Home Accessibility Business
Based on the series of articles published in Homecare Magazine 2014, this tract will give a comprehensive overview of the key components to developing a successful home accessibility business.
Presenter: Dave Henderson, senior marketing analyst, EZ-Access
“The biggest misconception is that there is only one way to make a home modification business successful, and that you need to invest large amounts of capital and resources and accomplishing the task,” says Henderson. “This course outline a variety of levels of entry for about any size HME dealer size. The market size is growing exponentially, and it is totally out of the Medicare world. It is the basis of an excellent cash business model. Entry into the market can be very simple and low cost.”

There Really IS No Place Like Home: Evaluation, Equipment and Options for Aging In Place
This session will provide the DME supplier with evaluation ideas and solutions as well as product solutions to help family caregivers assist elderly family members to live and age safely at home.
Presenter: Kay Koch, OTR/L, ATP, rehab clinical education manager, Invacare
“The biggest misconception is that families are aware of what is available and where they can get these items or services,” says Koch. “Most families are focusing on their loved one’s or relative’s injury or illness. The second misconception is that because some of the items are not covered by insurance or Medicare that they would not be items that would be purchased.

“Families are looking for solutions and it can be a good idea to offer additional items and be seen as a resource for these families,” continues Koch. “For example, when a tub transfer bench is prescribed and delivered, offering the family an option to purchase a specially designed shower curtain that will functionally close around the tub bench will not only provide a cash sale, but allow the provider to been viewed as a resource for possibly other cash sale items that will either assist the family or the end user.”

• Providers who wish to register for Medtrade should CLICK HERE.    
• The full link for registration is
• Pricing for events can be found here

Exhibitors have already bought 95% of the floor space at the Georgia World Congress Center in anticipation of what could be the most important Medtrade in the event’s long history. For a complete list of exhibitors and/or additional information about the show, visit