Therapeutic Support Surfaces: Diving Into the Business of Group 3 Air Fluidized Beds

Published in Complex Rehab on November 17, 2022

Heather Trumm

By Heather Trumm, Director, VGM Wound Care

If Group 3 air fluidized beds are so needed, why isn’t anyone diving into the business? Last week I was chatting with a new VGM member, and they asked me this question. It is not the first time I have received this question, so let’s dive in. If you are providing wound care in your DME business, adding air fluidized therapy beds to your mix is a great way to help serve your patients as well as increase your revenue. 

About Group 3 Support Surfaces and What Type of Patients Qualify 

Group 3 support surfaces are also called air fluidized beds. The air fluidization is accomplished by applying a large volume of air through a diffused board containing medical grade silicone coated beads. The beads create an interface surface for patients well below capillary closure. Group 3 is appropriate for patients whose wounds are not healing on a group 2 mattress, as well as for patients who would be institutionalized in the absence of an air fluidized bed. There are other reasons per the LCD on pressure reducing support surfaces for group 3. Please see your local coverage determinants. 

Why Should a DME Get Into Group 3 Support Surfaces? 

Why should a DME get into this category you ask? There are several reasons why a DME business should consider breaking into the group 3 support surfaces market. 

  1. There are very few providers in the market providing this type of therapy. 
  2. It will allow you to outshine your competition by providing therapy no one else in your market has. 
  3. As wounds are on the rise, there is a tremendous need for these beds. 
  4. It will provide you with a product line that you can use for years to come.  
  5. It may lead you into new wound care categories as well, such as dressings or negative pressure wound therapy.   

Considerations for Group 3 Support Surfaces 

There are a couple of areas you must consider before getting into this category of wound care. First, space is a necessity. You will need warehouse space to house the beds, approximately 300 to 5,500 square feet at a minimum. Second, transportation capabilities are vital. You will need some form of transportation to get the beds to the patient’s house, as well as a technician on hand to set up the bed. If you already have those things in place, you are ahead of the game! 

If you are providing DME to patients that have wounds and would like to increase your revenue to add a new category, the air fluidized therapy beds are a great option.   

Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day 

Group 3 air fluidized beds can also prevent pressure injuries. In honor of Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day taking place on Nov. 17, here are some additional tips about how you can play a part in pressure injury prevention: 

  • Keep the skin clean and dry 
  • Check the SKIN daily and if you see something suspicious, communicate to a healthcare provider 
  • Manage incontinence – use skin cleaners that are pH balanced 
  • If you are at risk, change positions often 

There are many other aspects, but these are the basics.   

If you would like more information, check out our library of resources on support surfaces in the VGM members-only portal to help you get stared! You can also reach out to me at [email protected] to explore the possibilities.  


  1. hme
  2. vgm
  3. wound care

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