Imagine what it must have been like to be a milkman as the industry…pardon the pun…evaporated. I bet it was discouraging to see longtime customers dwindle and frustrating to service longer routes to make up the difference. All the while, profit margins diminished because longer routes required more gas and more hours.
There was a time when milk doors were built into apartment buildings…actually part of the architecture, they were… because milk delivery was so essential to daily life. Those were the good old days.
The milk route, and by extension, the milkman, was a necessary distribution service sourced from technological limitations; reliable refrigeration did not exist. But as refrigerators made their way into more and more American kitchens, the original and obvious need for milkmen diminished.
Yeah…in hindsight…the milkman was doomed, but it didn’t have to be that way.
What if milkmen reassessed their value in the changing market? What if all along the actual value proposition was not selling milk but home delivery? What new markets could they seize, or even create, with their experienced staff and logistical experience? HME providers are no doubt sympathetic with the milkman, but we have the benefit of history…and I think…an opportunity to change our value proposition.
We can agree, for example, the documentation required for insurance coverage is too complicated. It doesn’t just frustrate providers, it baffles patients, physicians, and even customer service representatives at insurance carriers. What if, instead of simply getting a copy of the oxygen test, providers were experts in how medical documentation translates into insurance reimbursement? Then they would be experts with useful information for all parties. Sure, you will avoid delivering equipment for which you are ultimately unable to collect. In the bigger picture, however, you could be the missing link…the explainers.
If you would like to know more about translating medical records into the language of medical reimbursement, consider joining us on March 16, 2017, for Clearing the Air: Evaluating Oxygen Coverage with Medical Records.