Lending a Helping Hand

Published in Member Communities on December 04, 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]


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

What Is Value-Based Care and What Does it Mean to a Provider? thumbnail What Is Value-Based Care and What Does it Mean to a Provider? As value-based care increasingly takes hold, outcome trends involving patient engagement and experience will continue to be the primary focus for healthcare providers. With that in mind, what is value-based care, and what does it mean to a provider? Member Spotlight: Katie Stevens, CEO of Reliable Medical Supply thumbnail Member Spotlight: Katie Stevens, CEO of Reliable Medical Supply We recently had the opportunity to chat with Katie about her experience in the CRT industry. VGM Heartland Conference Brings the HME Community Back Together, Safely thumbnail VGM Heartland Conference Brings the HME Community Back Together, Safely VGM hosted its 20th Heartland Conference from Sept. 13–15 in Waterloo, Iowa. Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Revenue Cycle Management – What Are Your Averages? thumbnail Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Revenue Cycle Management – What Are Your Averages? At this year's Heartland Conference, please join Craig Douglas and Ronda Buhrmester from VGM, along with a panel of your industry peers, as they discuss and answer these questions as well as other best practices and potential solutions to help your business thrive. COVID-19 Safety Precautions For Heartland 2021 thumbnail COVID-19 Safety Precautions For Heartland 2021 Before we bring our membership community together for Heartland's 20th anniversary conference, we do have some safety precautions we are implementing during the conference. Changing the Customer Service Landscape to Improve Health Outcomes: A Holistic Approach to Serving Patients thumbnail Changing the Customer Service Landscape to Improve Health Outcomes: A Holistic Approach to Serving Patients Originally featured in "VGM Playbook: How Serving Your Customer Serves You," VGM member Cheryl Henninger, BHA, RTT, director of operations, shares how Geroulds Healthcare Center/Community Cares Health Solutions has created new service lines for their core business and provides holistic patient assessments to identify patient needs and navigate patients to the appropriate service lines within the organization—or even to appropriate resources outside of Gerould's scope of service. The Tipping Point of Respiratory Outcomes in the Home thumbnail The Tipping Point of Respiratory Outcomes in the Home VGM's Dave Lyman talks with CEO of Encore Health Care, Zach Gantt, about the importance of respiratory outcomes in the DME world. An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 9: VGM Heartland thumbnail An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 9: VGM Heartland Clint sat down with Sarah Conger, vice president of corporate projects with VGM, to discuss the 2021 VGM Heartland Conference coming up on September 13-15, 2021 and what attendees can expect at this year's event.