The New World: Seizing Opportunity in a World of Disruption

Published in Member Communities on February 11, 2021

Mike Mallaro

By: Mike Mallaro, CEO, VGM Group, Inc

While we all faced disruption and adversity in 2020, our industry emerged with tremendous
opportunities ahead of us. The pandemic was an inflection point. Inflection points change trajectory and unlock the prospect of more healthcare at home. Tomorrow looks better than yesterday.

More healthcare at home is clearly a mega trend emerging from 2020. More healthcare at home will take many forms, but I encourage you to focus on elements that involve the need for and use of nondisposable medical equipment in the patient’s home, and/or the resupply of consumable or disposable health supplies to users in their homes. Those are areas where you have capability, expertise, and a head start on others in the healthcare chain.

Touchless Tech and Digitalization

Touchless is a trend exacerbated by the pandemic. Your patients, or at least 98% of them, would prefer to have their CPAP machine shipped to the comfort of their home and set up remotely on their schedule. Most CPAPs, soon, are going to be set up touchless at home, rather than at the office. That’s the future. Jump in now. Don’t let set up in the office be a dinosaur you cling to.

slapping up an ecommerce website without a strategy and a commitment is not digital transformation

You know about the drastic shift in wallet share from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce. Touchless is a major driver of that shift, along with its good friend convenience. Slapping up an e-commerce website without a strategy and a commitment is not digital transformation. I’d suggest focusing on the user experience element of digital. Other aspects of user experience which present great opportunity are coordination of care to the patient’s benefit, creating a few impactful moments where it would matter to the customer, clearer billing, and limiting unintelligible jargon. But clearly, e-commerce opportunities are growing too, especially in CPAP.

Better Sleep

Better sleep was a mega trend pre-pandemic, and the pandemic has only solidified that status. A large number of people don’t sleep well, and better sleep is a $40 billion industry. A staggering 80% of Americans say they want to improve the quality of their sleep. Half of all Americans characterize the quality of their normal night’s sleep as “poor.”

Sleep as a mega trend requires you to look at a bigger picture than you might be used to looking at. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep remedies are a $1 billion category at mass market. Sales of melatonin, the OTC sleep supplement, grew by 44% during the pandemic. Collectively, DMEPOS providers are in direct contact with 10 million people who happen to have or are using a CPAP. If you count their spouse, who is more likely than not to have a sleep issue too, you’re able to directly touch nearly 20 million people who do not sleep well. Walmart and Target are selling a billion dollars in sleep remedies to Americans, and they don’t have a fraction of YOUR access and ability to target that problem sleeper. Some category opportunities include cleaners, sleep aids, sleep pillows, and weighted blankets.

80% of Americans say they want to improve sleep

Speedy Service

Speed is more important than ever. The pandemic taught us the value of speed. Restaurants that sped up their drive-throughs experienced outsized growth. The same holds for healthcare. Those who can find ways to do it faster and easier for the customer will continue to win more business. Speed, as a part of a business model, is a huge opportunity and needs to be on your radar as a leader.

This article was originally published in the VGM Playbook: Forecasting 2021. To read the complete article, download your copy of the playbook.

VGM Playbook Forecasting 2021


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN thumbnail Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN A major part of business development is understanding your payer mix and which products and services should be reimbursable versus cash sale items. What could you bundle together in your offering to expand business—specifically items that can be sold for retail alongside your reimbursable items? You might not necessarily offer everything right now, but these are the areas you can look to expand into. This resource outlines how to navigate reimbursement to help grow your business. U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience thumbnail U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience Complex rehab providers attending VGM's 20th Heartland Conference will have the opportunity to increase their expertise in repairing and programming complex rehab wheelchairs as part of U.S. Rehab's Tech Training. VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook thumbnail VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook VGM & Associates has released the third installment of their 2021 quarterly playbook series, which contains insight and best practices for making your business customer-centric. Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow thumbnail Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow Get great advice and more during the Heartland Conference Panel: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow moderated by Gerry Finazzo. During this session, attendees will learn how to identify ways to improve purchasing practices, mitigate inventory liability, identify ways to increase cash flow and lower activity costs. An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government thumbnail An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government President of VGM & Associates, Clint Geffert, sat down with John Gallagher, vice president of VGM Government, to discuss how VGM Government helps VGM members navigate the complexities of the legislative process and the importance of grassroots advocacy in the HME industry. Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC thumbnail Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC Vets First DME began at the intersection of preparation and opportunity, with a dash of circumstance. Read more about the amazing Hoover family as they combined the family's knowledge and experience to start Vets First DME, LLC. CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories thumbnail CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories CMS announced a 90-day extension of the suspension of the application of Medicare Competitive Bidding Program pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories. The current policy will stay in place through October 1 and there will not be any payment cuts or claims processing changes. Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! thumbnail Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! The HME supplier has always had challenges in getting paid timely and accurately for the items and services they provide to their customers. This is an assumed cost of doing business but the HME supplier still does this because of the reward of taking care of their customers. But nothing has challenged the supplier as much as when a customer has a Medicare Advantage Plan or an MCO.