The Durable Medical Equipment (DME) industry was valued at nearly $53 billion in 2020. In 2022, data shows that the market will reach a value of more than $56 billion. A growing geriatric population and an increase in various chronic diseases translate into an increasing need for in-home medical equipment. These numbers prove that the market environment is perfect for you to grow your medical equipment business. But with so much opportunity, where do you begin? We’ve created our guide to growing your medical equipment business so you can take your business to new heights while providing exceptional care to your clients.
1. Connect with Providers
Many of your sales as a DME business will come from doctors writing prescriptions for their patients. But for insurance or Medicare to cover in-home medical equipment, the provider must properly fill out their orders. As a DME provider, you can build relationships with area providers and organizations to make DME paperwork fast and easy.
A simple way to connect with and provide service to providers is by sending out simple, to-the-point resource material regarding DME issues and documentation. DME can be time-consuming for doctors. Between patient care and record-keeping, learning about DME prescriptions and orders is not a top priority. By providing helpful information regarding medical equipment orders, you can ensure your customers’ insurance will cover the equipment they need to heal and thrive at home.
2. Focus on the In-Person Experience
The number of Americans aged 65 and older continues to grow. In 2019, about 16.5 percent of the population was over 65. Researchers expect that number to hit 22 percent by 2050. With the elderly population increasing every year, the demand for in-home medical equipment continues to rise. And when your customers are considering medical equipment for in-home care, they want to have the opportunity to see it in person before committing to buy. This brings us to our second method of growing your medical equipment business: the in-store experience.
Creating a warm, welcoming, compassionate environment will do wonders for both the client experience and your business’s bottom line. Your staff should carry an in-depth knowledge of all of your offerings so they can easily answer any questions your store visitors might have. When customers feel valued and cared for, they’ll not only return for future services, but they’ll provide word-of-mouth recommendations, which will help your business grow.
3. Focus on Local SEO
Focusing on local search engine optimization (SEO) will help locals find the equipment they’re looking for at a storefront near their home: yours.
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that promotes your website’s presence on search engines like Google. By focusing on your DME business’s SEO, you bring potential customers to your site and then through your door. Local SEO optimization is the most effective way to showcase your website—and services—to new patients and grow your medical equipment business.
4. Manage Your Selection
When a customer walks through your doors, greet them with a diverse selection of products without overwhelming them with too many choices. Organize your store in such a way that your equipment is clearly labeled and easily accessible so customers can compare their options. Many DME products need to be special ordered, for example, Portable Oxygen Concentrators or CPAP machines. Have an area where a customer and their guest can see showroom samples to review features and pricing that meet their needs.
You want to offer the best, most reliable brands available. This ensures your customers will take home or order a product that will fulfill its purpose for a long period of time. But it also shows your referral base that you provide top-of-the-line equipment that serves their patients. When patients have access to the medical equipment that they need and want, like a portable oxygen container instead of an oxygen tank, they’re more likely to comply with therapies. And compliance with therapies typically yields a greater number of healthier, happier patients—something providers want to see. When a medical professional sees you providing a great selection of DME for your clientele, they’ll likely refer their patients to you, helping your medical equipment business grow.
5. Offer Consumer Financing
One of the best ways to grow your medical equipment business is to offer consumer financing. Many people looking for DME are in the elderly population, and they may not have the disposable income to pay upfront for this necessary equipment. In some cases, insurance won’t cover the entire cost of a patient’s DME, and some of your customers might come to you without insurance at all. In these instances, consumer financing can mean the difference between a person bringing home or ordering much-needed medical equipment or having to go without.
Working with a professional consumer financing firm like United Consumer Financial Services ensures that your customers have access to the medical equipment they need. With approval in just minutes and affordable payment options, UCFS ensures your customers have access to the in-home devices and equipment they need without facing the burden of paying upfront. By offering consumer financing, you’re able to provide more equipment to a greater number of patients regardless of their ability to pay in full on the day they visit your store. Consumer financing helps you grow your medical equipment business and provide quality care to the highest number of customers possible.
As we showed you above, the medical equipment industry is growing faster than ever before. You have the unique opportunity to grow your business in a thriving market while serving more customers than you ever have. By setting yourself apart from other suppliers in both selection and service, you communicate that you are the best option for patients seeking DME. We hope our guide provides helpful ideas that help you grow your medical equipment business starting now!