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HME Walker Being Used for Stability Standing in a Living Room

What is HME?

HME is short for Home Medical Equipment. Home medical equipment items are largely used in private homes or care facilities to aid people in their day-to-day lives. Some help overcome health challenges, some aid in healing, others are just meant to facilitate an aspect of healthy living.

HME Definition

Home Medical Equipment (DME): Equipment used in a person's home or in a care facility. HME items include many of the pieces of equipment that help someone with a medical condition live much like they would without that condition. Another use of HME is to aid in a person's health, healing or safety. Some of the needs HME is meant to overcome include limited mobility, obstructed or labored breathing, hindered accessibility, or inhibited hearing.

What are Examples of HME?

  • Vertical Platform Lifts (VPLs)
  • Adjustable Beds
  • Lifting Chairs
  • Walkers and Rollators
  • Milk-Expressing Pumps
  • Mastectomy Bras and other Garments
  • Folding Scooters
  • Ventilators
  • Nebulizers
  • Bathroom Grab Bars
  • Stable Stair Railings

What is the Difference between HME and DME?

There is a lot of overlap between Home Medical Equipment (HME) devices and Durable Medical Equipment (DME). HME products will usually be used in a day-to-day living environment while DME can also include many of the items you'd usually only find in a hospital or clinic. 

Where Can I Buy Home Medical Equipment?

Medical supply stores will generally be your best choice for finding the HME equipment you need. These business owners often have personal experience with medical conditions that necessitate HME and can use that individual experience to guide you toward the most appropriate decisions. 

Is HME Covered by Insurance

There are a number of medically necessary items that insurance will cover. Often you will find  there is a schedule for how often you can receive new and updated equipment through insurance. For some items, you may also find coverage through Medicaid or Medicare. 

HME Coverage Can Vary State-by-State

It's important that you get familiar with your state's requirements for insurers and for your state programs. There are differences between states. Your local HME retailer may understand these differences very well and can be an excellent resource as you navigate product and coverage comparisons.

Where Can I Buy HME?

You likely have medical equipment retailers near you. These business owners are often people with a great deal of expertise and empathy. Many found their way into the DME industry through health challenges in their own lives and understand the issues you are facing. VGM partners with DME retailers and manufacturers to help their businesses serve you. VGM Forbin's IT, Web Development and Marketing teams are the tech professionals behind the scenes helping those businesses connect with you.

How Hard is it to Start an HME Business?

Starting any business comes with challenges. Those who choose to work in mobility, safety, accessibility, sleep, bracing or any of the number of other medical equipment categories need to be more than just business owners. These businesses are counted on in their communities to be experts. People who come upon the need for a ramp, CPAP machine, glucose meter or other medical equipment are often navigating this space for the first time. There is a lot they don't know. To earn their business, it's important you have an inherent interest in helping them live healthier, happier lives. If you are serious about starting or buying an HME business, get in touch with VGM Forbin. Our team will help you manage your technical needs. We'll get your website ready, your listings created, and your ads working to bring customers to you. 

How Can an HME Business Reach Potential Customers?

There isn't one formula for reaching customers with HME needs. In the HME customer journey, it's common for the equipment user, shopper and payer to all be different entities. Medical equipment businesses often need to be able to connect with all of them, sometimes with separate messaging for each. 

In general though, being found at the right times tends to be the best first step. A well-appointed Google My Business profile, a simple and clear website, and a mix of search engine optimization and search engine marketing are usually great places to start. After that, you need to consider what mix of physicians, pharmacists, insurers, end users, the adult children of those users, and more influence those buying decisions. VGM and Forbin understand these complicated dynamics well. Forbin has designed effective marketing plans for just about every category of HME. Contact our helpful and caring team today.