Trial Equipment Deposit Guidelines

Download Trial Deposit Brochure – HMEDA Trial Deposits Brochure

In Home/Facility Trials’ are a unique service offered by members of the Home Medical Equipment Dealers of BC (HMEDA). Trials are used to assist clients with the process of selecting specialized equipment such as manual wheelchairs, tilt wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, scooters, postural seating, tilt commodes and walkers. Trained sales consultants employed by dealers oversee the ‘In Home/Facility Trials’, requiring one day to several months to complete depending on client need.

Download Trial Deposit Brochure – HMEDA Trial Deposits Brochure

Historically, this service has been provided with no deposit or fee, presuming customers will complete a purchase with the dealer who provided the service. With the evolution of on-line business and other recently available options, some clients now utilize the in-home/facility trial service and then choose to take the resulting equipment specification and purchase equipment from another supplier.

Research suggests clients funded by a government ministry, Crown Corporations such as WorkSafeBC or ICBC, or third party organization such as Variety Club provide near-contractual assurance the trial and demonstration process will result in a sale to that member dealer.

The practice of a consumer utilizing the in-home/facility trial services of one dealer and subsequently purchasing from another supplier is limited to private-Pay clients who do not have a long-standing customer relationship with a specific dealer. HMEDA recommends the following;

HMEDA Trial Deposit Guideline for Private-Pay Clients

Private-pay customers are defined as those paying for equipment themselves or through a private insurance plan. This explicitly excludes Ministry/ICBC/Worksafe clients due to existing contractual arrangements.

HMEDA recommends member dealers collect a trial deposit for ‘In Home/Facility Trial’ covering labour, travel time and travel fees (mileage) associated with each trial. The deposit includes a recommended number of visits to individual client’s residence.

  • trial deposit amount is collected in advance of commencing an in-home/facility trial,
  • trial deposit is non-refundable (see special exceptions below) and,
  • trial deposit will be applied to the purchase cost of equipment obtained from the member dealer.

Recommended trial deposits are as follows:

Download Trial Deposit Brochure – HMEDA Trial Deposits Brochure

Medical Equipment Amount of Visits Included Trial Deposit
Manual Wheelchair Maximum two visits $400
Manual Tilt Wheelchair Maximum three visits $600
Scooter Maximum two visits $600
Basic Powerchair (no tilt) Maximum two visits $700
Advanced Powerchair (tilt) Maximum three visits $900

Notes:

  • In cases where additional visits are required (i.e.: due to complex seating requirements) increase deposit by $200 for each additional trip.
  • In the event a client, after making a deposit, decides within one week of the beginning of a trial not to purchase a piece of equipment, 50% of their deposit will be refunded. If the client keeps the equipment longer than one week and does not make a purchase, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Should a client, after making a deposit, be unable to participate further in the in-home/facility trial process due to death or medical emergency within one week after a trial begins, 50% of the deposit will be refunded.

Tools Provided to Members

Download Trial Deposit Brochure – HMEDA Trial Deposits Brochure

Members will be provided some tools to assist them in implementing the trial deposit system:

  • Publication of a HMEDA brochure outlining details of the program. This information will be directed to prospective clients, therapists and funders.
  • HMEDA will continue to publicize the new trial deposit system, reaching out to funders, health authorities and organizations representative of the disabled community.

HMEDA Code of Ethics Impact

HMEDA’s Code of Ethics contains a provision that prohibits one member from utilizing the work product of another member for the purposes of preparing a price quotation for a client. This provision has largely been followed by members. After January 1st, 2015, members may be approached by a client who has paid a deposit and completed a trial with another dealer. Member dealers will be free to provide an equipment quotation without violating the HMEDA Code of Ethics. Our Code of Ethics will be updated, facilitating the idea that a client may purchase their quotation, having this amount deducted from the purchase price when obtaining equipment from the original dealer, or take that quotation to obtain equipment elsewhere.

Download Trial Deposit Brochure – HMEDA Trial Deposits Brochure