Caretailing – The Next Step for HME

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 by Rob Baumhover

If you’ve attended a Medtrade, Heartland or Retail Roadshow or seen a Retail webinar or presentation in the past year, you’ve probably heard us say this goofy sounding word – CARETAILING.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it, but what’s the big deal?”

As you may know, caretailing is the process of recommending add-on, cash sale items that a patient need in order to recover faster or provide a better quality of life in addition to assisting them with their insurance-covered needs.

To clarify, we’re not saying HME customer service representatives should channel their inner sleazy used car salesman. Caretailing is NOT hocking product. Nobody benefits when we try to sell customers products they absolutely don’t need. The customer spends more money than necessary on items that won’t help them, and we get a reputation of being product-pushers. Not the situation we want. We want to make customers happy and healthy by providing products designed to fit their specific needs.

Here’s the Big Deal

By implementing a Caretailing mindset within your business, both you and the customer reap positive tangible and intangible benefits:

The Customer:

– Being equipped with all the tools to heal properly or live more comfortably puts the customer’s mind at ease so they can focus on getting/staying healthy
– By healing correctly the first time or staying healthy with the add-on products recommended through caretailing, customer can potentially lower medical expenses from repeat doctor visits
– Caretailing doesn’t force customers into products they don’t need, it opens their eyes to products possibilities they didn’t know existed

For the business:

– Adding additional products to the final ticket increases revenue brought into the store
– For hospital-owned business, covering all the bases in the customer’s care will reduce readmissions and the penalties that go with it
– Doing what’s best for the customer creates a loyal following and generates repeat purchasing

How to Get Started

Caretailing can be applied to any customer, with any condition or disease state, in any product category. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What products would you want in order to be comfortable or to heal better if you were in their position? Think of it using these examples:

In order for your elderly grandparent to remain in their home, their doctor recommends getting a hospital bed in the main floor bedroom. What products might you need:

– Hospital Bed
– Twin XL Bedsheets
– Pillows
– Bed Wedges
– Over the bed table
– Reachers

You’ve had Type I diabetes since you were young. You’ve managed it great your entire life, but now that you’re 52 you’re beginning to have pain in your feet and legs. What products might you need:

– Diabetic Footwear
– Shoe inserts
– Pain Relief Creams
– Compression Stockings
– Hot & Cold Packs

Repeat this process for any insurance product you carry. You’ll think of several add-on products that’ll give the customer a true caretailing experience. The key is keeping the customer’s health and best interest at the forefront!


For more in depth knowledge and implementation processes on caretailing, join us at a Retail Science Roadshow. You’ll walk away with the knowledge to train your sales staff in the art of caretailing, making for happier and healthier customers! Register today – click here!