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Thread: dme provider profits

  1. #1

    dme provider profits

    I'm currently in a manual chair. I had a DME provider constantly pushing me to get an electric chair. Obviously, they make more money if they sell one of those. Does the physical therapist get any kickback being involved?

    Also, a few years ago a physical therapist told me that they were going to get me a new chair. Then the DME provider and physical therapist double-teamed me and told me that all they could do was fix the chair. It's titanium, so I went along with it since they said I probably could get another titanium chair. Well, they did a poor job. It's fixed correctly now. Does the physical therapist get a kickback in that situation? I assume that fixing the chair was more profitable for them.

    I'm asking because another DME provider pushed and pushed for a ride custom back. Pretty much lied to me and did not listen to what I was telling him. Those backs are $4000. It was horrible. Felt like I was in a coffin and was screwing up my arm. He pulled a jay3 off of the shelf that he had sitting there and had me try that. That's what I am sitting with today. It was fine and did exactly what I wanted. Obviously, it's only $300. Why didn't he try it first? I know the answer.

  2. #2
    Interesting comments Ouch. I'm not sure the term "kickback" explains it. It seems if a Physical Therapist is involved, it was at a rehab center or similar service and I would think the PT would be paid for their time by their employer. I think some DME's get cozy with some rehab services, possibly blurring the fact that the DME is there to consult with the patient and PT to come up with appropriate equipment. Yes, they are hoping to "sell" equipment, but you are the driving force in deciding what works for you, based on the input you are given.
    Don't forget that the insurance company is a major factor and the DME is probably the most aware of their restrictions in this situation.

    If possible try to scour the internet to become familiar with any equipment that's recommended or that you are interested in. You can then tell providers what you want to try, and take an active role in this process. (P.S. I don't think many insurance companies would pay for a new titanium chair.)

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    There's a federal anti-kickback statute that prevents exactly the kind of thing you're talking about, ouch (https://www.healthlawyers.org/hlreso...20Statute.aspx). At best, a therapist can bill your insurance for evaluating you for a new chair or something like that, but it's not enough money to influence their recommendations.

    That being said, a salesperson can convince you, your therapist, and/or your physician that a particular product would be best for you. The salesperson may even believe that is true, and he/she may even be right. However, it's ultimately up to you, as the buyer, to make informed purchase decisions and to stand firm when a salesperson tries to pressure you. You're probably right about the $4,000 vs. $300 back, though keep in mind that he might genuinely (though stubbornly) have believed that the $4,000 would be better for you. Contrary to popular belief, not all business people are sharks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    What's your level of injury, Ouch? As a C5/6 I pushed a manual w/c for 15 years until I wore out my hands and shoulders. Switching to a power w/c in 2000 gave me a lot more independence and energy (not so tired at the end of the day). I can do more. Exercise is important (I ride an FES bike), so you have to consider that when giving up a manual w/c.

    I know your post is more about the dishonesty and greed, but as others have said, your health comes first. I just got a new power w/c that is exactly the same as my old one. I was told that a seating evaluation was required by my insurance. It cost over $2000 for the evaluation, and nothing changed. So I see your point. Our wonderful health care system.
    "The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.?
    --Eckhart Tolle




  5. #5
    There is nothing stopping a manufacture of offering incentives for business. All business do it. Payment in some form can dictate behavior.

    But if you go in knowing what you want and stay firm in your needs then its not a problem. If you cant stand firm and need a advocate then try that approach.

    Manufactures also pay commissions so like buying a car just do your research before and justify your needs.

    If you have issues like you post go to the next level like a manager or GM of your DME. Who is the DME?

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