Good afternoon Alopecia World!
I am currently in the process of completing my MBA with a focus in Technology Management, and this semester I am enrolled in a Marketing course. I have a project to complete, which will take up the majority of the time spent in this class, where I am required to identify a product or business, provide justification for the choice I've made, identify the market needs and growth potential, and create a plan to launch the product not only to investors willing to provide capital, but the general public for whom the product is targeted.
In the United States, in order for an insurance company to provide coverage for the cost of hairpieces in patients suffering from alopecia or other long-term, extensive medical hair loss, two key criteria must be met:
1. A prescription must be written for a Cranial Head Prosthesis (CHP), *NOT* a wig.
2. The Cranial Head Prosthesis (CHP) *MUST* be purchased from a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplier - these are the same medical suppliers that sell hospital beds, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment to the general public.
Currently, there is not a DME supplier in existence in the United States. The current practice for DME suppliers is to "partner" with a wig boutique locally, and leave the filing of claims for cost reimbursement to the patient to complete. I WANT TO CHANGE THAT!!!!
My vision is to open a DME supply store with the primary focus on selling Cranial Head Prosthetics, such as Freedom Hair and Follea. In order to meet the DME designation set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I would also sell traditional Durable Medical Equipment and have staff on hand to complete the insurance claim filing process as a service to the patients who use our services.
In order for me to complete this project, I need the help of the Alopecia World community. Therefore, I pose this question:
If you wear a hairpiece, or are in the market to purchase a hairpiece, or you are a Freedom Hair or Follea Independent Agent, what are the most important features you would like to see in a DME supplier such as this?
***PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS WITH OFF-TOPIC ANSWERS REGARDING SPECIFIC EXPERIENCES. I WILL POST A RELATED QUESTION SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE IN 7 DAYS.***
At this point, I am simply looking for the needs of the market, not the wants - I will need the wants in 2 weeks, when I create the Investor Pitch.
Your assistance in this project is greatly appreciated - and could make this important need for the alopecian community a reality!!
I wish you good luck with this Kasta. I'll send an email to the Freedom Independent Agents in the USA and ask them to pop their input here. Good luck with everything, sounds like a wonderful idea.
HI Kasta BABY!! This is a real problem. I am currently a supplier for CDCHP out of New York State, but they don't recognize the cost of a true vacuum-fitted prosthetic. I have to fight every single time along with my clients to try and get insurance coverage. Sometimes we can get it out-of-network but it is always a struggle. NH has a law which is supposed to guarantee coverage, but even then there are ways around it for the insurance company such as when the person's own company writes an exclusion right into the policy for their workers. Codes are also a problem as each insurance company seems to want a DIFFERENT code for the prosthesis. If you were really able to accomplish this, then the independent agents could partner with you in some way to still provide the service the clients need but there are some problem issues I can explain more in a phone call. Call me at 800-486-1653 and I can tell you more. Debbi
Debbi is pretty fab and knows what will help people in the USA. The Freedom Independent Agents work separately but co-operatively to make sure all information is available to those that need it.
I'm sure they will be able to help.
My dream. I want to help, how could I help?