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The Science of Retail

What is Retail Science? According to Paco Underhill, author of “Why We Buy – The Science of Shopping,” it is the “Sherlock Holmes” approach to retail. In academic terms, it is “the use of data (with or without technology) to analyze who buys, what is bought, and why it is bought so that better product buying, inventory control and space planning are adjusted to generate more sales and profits for a retailer.” retail1 So, how do we apply this to the world of HME? It’s about making sure you are constantly analyzing your sales, your inventory, your merchandising strategies and your marketing efforts so that you can make positive changes to boost sales and grow your business. Just like chemistry, it’s about thinking of your HME business as an “atom” made up of fundamental “molecules” that operate not independently, but together, to form a holistic retail strategy. To truly become successful retailers, HME providers must look at their businesses as we look at the H2O molecule – a sum of essential parts that equal a whole. We must examine, analyze and understand how all of the parts of our business come together to create success. retail2Retail Science was VGM Retail’s focus at this year’s Heartland Conference. Their first-ever Retail Science Center (pictured below) featured some of the hottest new HME retail products for 2015 and was built around the concept of creating a holistic (and successful) retail strategy using the Five Fundamentals of Retail Science – store environment, product assortment, merchandising, human resources and marketing. For more information about Retail Science and how to implement a strategy to grow your HME retail business using these Five Fundamentals, contact VGM Retail today at 855.285.3300 or [email protected].

VGM Members and VGM Insurance Partner to Donate $4,000 to Charities Nationwide!

To celebrate their 25th Anniversary and as a way of thanking HME providers for the good they do for their communities, VGM Insurance is giving away a total of $25,000 throughout the year to companies that provide the most compelling nominations of a local charity. Now almost halfway through the campaign, VGM Insurance has given away a total of $12,000 to deserving charities across the nation! As an extra special celebration as part of VGM’s 2015 Heartland Conference, VGM Insurance gave away a total of $4,000 to four VGM and OPGA members who attended the conference. Check out the great pictures of the Heartland check donations and learn more about the fantastic charities these members nominated! insurance1 Pictured above: Van Miller of VGM and Bill Wilson and Jason Bienemann of VGM Insurance presenting a $1,000 donation check to Chuck Vetsch of Keeler’s Medical Supply for his nominated charity, the Pegasus Project of Yakima. Based in Yakima, Wash., the Pegasus Project provides therapeutic riding and equine related activities to improve the health and well-being of people with special physical and emotional needs. They offer many of their programs at no cost to families, so the donation will go towards upkeep of the horses and riding facility, while allowing more people to participate in these beneficial programs.

Heartland Action Center

gov1The VGM Government Relations team and People for Quality Care paired up at Heartland to reach out to providers and beneficiaries to get them engaged with their elected officials. Our booth saw plenty of attendees wanting to get involved. We took to Twitter and tweeted photos of providers from around the United States holding signs and asking for support of Competitive Bidding reform and Audit reform. We also had a basket with dozens of commitments to scheduling meetings with their members of Congress during the August Recess.

Introducing August of Action

We are rolling out our new campaign called “August of Action,” to start the dialogue between providers and members of Congress. The August Recess is quickly approaching and elected officials will be back in their home states holding town hall meetings, lunches, and appointments for the entire month. This is an excellent time to get in front of your congressman to talk about competitive bidding and audits. VGM Government Relations is here to help schedule meetings for you, offer coaching sessions to answer any of your questions, and provide you with the concise points that will best get your message across. Please contact Emily at [email protected] if you are interested in starting the dialogue.

Preliminary Functional Mobility Assessment Data Presented at Heartland Conference

Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, and Richard Schein, Ph.D., MPH from the University of Pittsburgh presented preliminary Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) data at Heartland Conference last week. Developed by Mark Schmeler and Margo Holm, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, ABDA, Professor Emerita at the University of Pittsburgh, the FMA is designed to provide consumer self-reported outcomes data about their ability to function with their current means of mobility that can include assistive devices such as walking aids, prosthetics, and wheelchairs. The 10 question FMA tool requires patients to self-report their satisfaction in performing Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living (MRADLs), that includes, for example, reach, transfers, personal care, and indoor/outdoor mobility, among other items. The FMA is calculated on a six-point scale with “one” being completely disagree and “six” being completely agree with ability to perform common MRADLs. Pilot data has been analyzed for quality assurance. “We have some descriptive analyses of top common diagnoses of people who use complex rehab technology,” said Schmeler. The data collected provides a benchmark for future data collection and analysis. Baseline FMA scores at the time of assessment for a new intervention or device indicated consumers were “slightly dissatisfied” and after they were provided with an appropriate device were “mostly satisfied.” The data shows what type of people get complex rehab technology based on factors such as primary diagnosis. Patients generally transition from ambulatory aids (cane, crutches, walkers, or standard manual wheelchairs) to equipment that is more suited to their condition, such as scooters or power wheelchairs. FMA scores have shown that patients are dissatisfied at time 1. People have the best scores when they transition from poorly fitted basic manual wheelchairs walkers to a group 2 or 3 power wheelchair or a scooter and when they transition to a device more suited for their condition. The FMA will be able to provide data to show why CRT is important. “Everything that we see in the data just confirms what we’ve been saying anecdotally for years,” said Schmeler. U.S. Rehab is currently working with the University of Pittsburgh to collect additional data for the FMA project. They are currently conducting a beta test of their data collection system with a small group of members. The project is expected to be launched to the entire U.S. Rehab membership in 2016.