Lending a Helping Hand

Published in Member Communities on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Group of People

It takes a special kind of group to work in complex rehab technology (CRT). The daily challenges faced in getting equipment, supplies, and services to patients in need can sometimes feel like moving mountains. But when someone who’s struggling gets access to the help they need, all the hard work is worth it. That’s what motivates the staff at Handi Medical Supply every day.

Handi Medical was founded in 1988. In just over three decades, the company has become a staple of the Twin Cities and a regional full-line durable medical equipment (DME) provider. While they’ve certainly grown in size and offerings, the values of this family-owned business have remained constant.

“Handi Medical Supply was founded on the premise that we can do better to enrich the lives of another in need, and we still function on that premise. We challenge our team to go above and beyond the typical to find unique solutions to difficult situations,” said Jason Kelecic, PT, DPT, MBA, and Director of Rehab Operations at Handi Medical. “To do so requires both the trust and development of a therapeutic alliance between the customer and all members of the team. Building those key ingredients happens by focusing on the little things that signal a deeper sense of compassion.”

Kelecic and his team help evaluate a customer’s need for a full range of CRT and assist in obtaining bath and toileting equipment, ultralightweight wheelchairs, and state-of-the-art multifunctional power wheelchairs, as well as a full line of pediatric and special needs equipment. They are also responsible for referral processing, service coordination, documentation management, and reimbursement authorization. Along with his team of complex rehab technicians, he also helps support Handi Medical’s assistive technology professionals (ATPs).

“We are blessed to have a large group of experienced ATPs with the knowledge and skills to serve a wide spectrum of customers—both children and adults,” Kelecic stated. “This position affords me the tremendous opportunity to interact on a clinical and business operations level on a daily basis while positioning our company to enrich lives throughout the upper Midwest.”

Enriching lives is Handi Medical’s mission. And, it’s what is credited as the reason for their continued success. Rather than focusing on equipment, their team focuses on making a meaningful impact on a person’s life through technology, expertise, and human connection. A dedicated team that focuses solely on CRT assists customers in the referral, evaluation, and medical justification process. They not only help patients understand the equipment, they aim to provide clarity and communication about the process itself. The team also ensures customers are covered by a third-party payer or helps them understand their options in obtaining CRT either out of pocket or through alternative funding sources.

The staff at Handi Medical looks at challenges from the perspective of their customers to create an optimal match between patient needs and the best CRT available on the market, even though it may not necessarily be what is most profitable to the company. Ultimately, enriching lives is about compassion.

“We once had a mother come to one of our locations to obtain diapers for a child with special needs. Their family typically utilized a different company, but that day she needed supplies in a rush,” Kelecic recalled. “One of our ATPs was in the office and moved quickly to help her to her vehicle after noticing the mother had several bags and a child in stroller. In that simple act of kindness and acknowledgement, our team opened the door to a relationship that has resulted in providing several pieces of CRT. We’ve become a trusted resource with the chance to impact a child throughout a lifetime without a brochure, web page, or sales pitch.”

Building a culture that instills those values takes time and investment. Handi Medical had to create an environment that allowed team members to focus entirely on getting it right for their customers. Through onboarding and training for employees, continuing education throughout the year, and speaking openly about enriching lives, they were able to achieve this goal. Staff are also able to nominate each other for Enrichment Awards, and each year an overall winner is selected. Finally, the leadership team ranks the well-being of the team as a top priority. They hold themselves accountable to living up to high standards of their values, scheduling meetings each week to discuss their mission and celebrate their staff’s accomplishments.

This positive environment has led to more than just financial success and a reputation for integrity. Handi Medical has won a Top Workplaces award four years in a row. Last year, they also won the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award for doing the right thing and going beyond just what’s required. However, all of these awards take a back seat to providing an outstanding customer experience.

“Our goal is to make ourselves a little better each day so we may enrich more lives,” said Kelecic. “We welcome challenges and have found that if we remain true to our mission, we can surmount anything and emerge better than we were yesterday.”

If you’d like to learn more about Handi Medical or their mission of enriching lives, visit their website at handimedical.com or their blog, toenrichlives.com. You can also contact Jason Kelecic directly at [email protected]

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