Ask the Expert: Sue Chen, CEO of NOVA Medical Products  1/12/2016


ECRM and Sue Chen the CEO of NOVA Medical Products took a look at some of the emerging challenges that the home health care industry faces when it comes to competitive bidding.

Please describe your company and your role there.

NOVA Medical Products is a manufacturer and innovator of over 800 consumer products in the home health care, independent living and wellness market. NOVA's product segments include canes, crutches, walkers, transport and wheelchairs, mobility accessories, bathroom safety, cushions and life aids. My role at NOVA is CEO times 2! One is the traditional CEO role and the other is Chief Education Officer ... and I love the double duty!

How has competitive bidding changed the marketplace?

Competitive bidding has completely disrupted and imploded the marketplace and created a landscape of chaos and uncertainly for manufacturers, providers and most of all, the consumers. The competitive bidding process in reality is a disaster, a home health care train wreck, disguised with the false vail of Medicare doing what is best for our industry, Medicare recipients and tax payers. Casualties of their train wreck include thousands of dealers shutting down or cutting back, loss of jobs and most of all, denial or a drastic reduction of much needed home health care products and services to millions of Americans reliant on Medicare. With that said, in the chaos there is tremendous opportunity to provide the home health care products and services that people need and want.

What are key challenges that companies face in the Home Health Care industry?
The key challenges that companies, specifically home health care providers face is being in that debilitating place of UNCERTAINTY. The competitive bidding process has been unfolding for several years with a downward spiraling path for providers. Yet, most providers hope and hold on for a reversed course. This false hope places them dead center in that place of uncertainty that can be paralyzing to any business. It prevents them from planning and investing for the future and we all know that future is in retail.

Where do you see opportunities for suppliers to innovate their products and services?

The greatest opportunities for suppliers are with their customers. And, when your customers are people, not Medicare or insurance companies, there are endless opportunities to innovate products and services completely driven by what consumers want and need - today, tomorrow and beyond. Now, we can truly innovate with better products, solutions, outcomes and services for our customers. I doubt tennis balls on walkers would be the ubiquitous symbol of aging and mobility in America if innovation was driving Medicare in our industry.

Where do you see the industry headed and how are you planning for it?

Retail! Retail! Retail! - which is about providing Americans the best selection, service and experience. For NOVA and all channel partners, planning for retail can be spelled out in the definition. The term retail is defined as: The activity of selling goods to the public. If we break that definition down, "activity" means creating a wonderfully engaging shopping experience with thoughtful, intentional and effective marketing. "Selling" means making the transaction of CASH from you to the customer that involves a healthy profit. Finally, "public" means millions of Americans. So, these retail opportunities that provide the American public with products and services that significantly improve their lives and that of their loved ones is massive and massively important to the home health care, wellness and aging in place markets.


Please join us for the 2016 Home Health Care Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS) where Sue will take a deep dive into how the home health care industry has the greatest opportunity in all consumer retail and how companies can prepare for and optimize business strategy. The educational session will take place on Monday, February 22, 2016 from 8:00am - 9:00am. Sue will also act as an event ambassador where she will moderate a round table discussion that focuses on how to build and maintain a staff that is educated, effective and inspired. The roundtable discussion will take place on Tuesday, February 23 from 4:30pm – 5:45pm.

Other Articles that May Interest You:
Ask the Expert: Cathy Fox of Drug and Device Register, LLC
Industry Trends: Home Health Care
Product Showcase: Home Health Care

Other ECRM EPPS Events:
Contract Manufacturing / Packaging / Logistics for Pharmaceuticals & Nutritionals
Diabetes/Clinical Programs, Health & Wellness Solutions

Rachel Shultz

Director of Marketing

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