Voice of the Caregiver

by Karen Cavallo

HomeCare, Mar 1, 2001

 

 

Listening to It Can Build Your Business

YOU MIGHT NOT know it yet, but a powerful voice is emerging — and it will have a major impact on your business. It's a mother's voice, a husband's voice, a voice that is, according to industry statistics, 25 million strong. It is the voice of caregivers all across the country — and as the population grows older and lives longer, that voice will grow stronger.

What you do when a daughter walks into your home medical equipment store and needs advice on the best type of walker or portable oxygen system for her mother can affect not only that sale but your business future. According to statistics just released by The Caregivers Advisory Panel in Charlestown, R.I., these 25 million caregivers are powerful buyers — 96 percent say they influence the purchase of health care products for their loved ones. What's more, 79 percent of caregivers make the actual purchase (see the related news story on Page 28).

Given these compelling stats, the caregiver — not just the discharge planner or the health maintenance organization — is your direct link to the patient. I'm convinced that caregivers are a big piece of the HME puzzle. To miss their significance is to miss a personal opportunity (after all, quality patient care is the reason most providers got into this profession in the first place) as well as a business opportunity.

No one is better positioned than the provider to offer product recommendations and health care information. And, because the majority of these caregivers are employed outside the home and are short on time and energy, anything you can do to ease their burden will stand you in good stead and secure a long-term relationship.

However, according to the TCAP survey, only one in nine caregivers is likely to turn to an HME store for practical information on caregiving. That 11 percent compares with 31 percent who depend on home health professionals for such services and 42 percent who seek that information from physicians. There is ample opportunity here for savvy HME providers to gain a bigger piece of that pie.

• • •

I am not the only one taking notice of this powerful group. Washington is starting to pay attention — in November, Congress passed the Family Caregiver Support Program giving caregivers access to such services as counseling, respite care and referral sources.

Other legislation, including a bill that would allow reimbursement on lift and transfer products to benefit caregivers, is in the works. This is especially good news because, according to the House Select Committee on Aging, 16 percent of caregivers indicate that their health has worsened since they've taken on that role.

Caregivers are indeed gaining more power, and plugging into that power source could energize your HME business. Don't miss the opportunity.


ฉ 2001, IndustryClick Corp., a PRIMEDIA company. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of IndustryClick Corp.

 



Study Shows Few Caregivers Turn to DME Dealers for Advice

by J. P. Pieratt

HomeCare, Mar 1, 2001

 

 

Charlestown, R.I.

Durable medical equipment providers are missing out on the lucrative family caregiver market, according to a new study by The Caregivers Advisory Panel titled The Caregivers Report: Research Insights for DME Providers and due to be published in May.

Research shows that “96 percent of all caregivers say they buy all or nearly all of the caregiving health products that are bought,” said TCAP president Paul Alper. The problem is that when family caregivers want information, they aren't looking to DME providers.

“In our study, only about 11 percent of caregivers say they are very likely to turn to a home medical supply store for practical information on caregiving — this versus 20 percent for pharmacists, 31 percent for a home health professional and 42 percent for doctors,” Alper said. “If caregivers are the ones buying the products but they're not looking to you for help, then you don't have any control over their purchasing decisions.

“In general, I don't know if the DME dealer has placed a priority on reaching the caregiver as a decision maker,” he continued. “We've learned from previous client research that, as the health care system is changing, family caregivers want foremost to keep loved ones in the home; second, to play a very active role in providing care; and last, [to] make sure the products they're getting are effective and easy to use. And all this means being an informed consumer about what gets purchased.”

Bottom line, he says, “the DME dealer has a wonderful opportunity to reach out to caregivers and recognize their role in product and brand decisions.”

For more information, go to levitrasun.com or call 877/595-6227.

 


ฉ 2001, IndustryClick Corp., a PRIMEDIA company. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of IndustryClick Corp.

 

 


About Us & Mission Statement  | HME / DME Providers | Benefits of Membership | How to Join | Privacy Statement
Board of Advisors | Collaborative Partners and Links | Manufacturers and Service Providers | Frequently Asked Questions
Press and News Releases | Home


The Caregivers Advisory Panel, Inc. Mailing Address: PO Box 1206, Charlestown, RI 02813
3949 Old Post Road Suite 200C, Charlestown, RI 02813
Toll Free: 1-877-595-62271-401-364-9100Fax 1-401-364-9933E-mail
Info@caregiversadvisorypanel.com
ฉ Copyright 2000-2020 The Caregivers Advisory Panel, Inc., All Rights Reserved

The Caregivers Advisory Panel, TCAP and Voice of the Caregiver are Trademarks of The Caregivers Advisory Panel, Inc. Take your business to the Next Levelฎ is a registered Trademark of Alper Associates, Inc.