My name is Dana Craven and my first born child was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at the age of 6 months. Her doctors told us that she would quickly lose her ability to move, swallow, and breathe, and that she would never live to see her second birthday. But now that she's a teenager, I can say with certainty that the doctors had that piece of it wrong. Although she did lose her ability to swallow, move, and breathe on her own, she's never lost her interest in the world, her sense of humor, or the ability to brighten the lives of everyone who knows her!
I began SMA Medical Supply in the summer of 2007 in order to serve the needs of SMA families. It's almost impossible to believe I've been doing this over a decade! The motivation for starting my little company was simple: frustration with the medical supply industry! As if the day-to-day physical, emotional, and financial strains of having a severely disabled child were not enough, we had a terrible time finding a DME company that could (or would) provide the proper equipment for a toddler with advanced medical issues.
It quickly became apparent that durable medical equipment (DME) companies were NOT accustomed to dealing with pediatric supplies. Simply put, medically fragile infants and children didn't often live long enough for the companies to receive proper insurance payments for equipment, leaving them with a lack of incentive to help such cases. Upon entering this industry with our daughter's needs at stake, we encountered unrelenting insurance problems, billing fraud, equipment disasters, unhelpful or inappropriate medical care, and problems of countless other kinds. There were long wait times for life-sustaining equipment, an unwillingness to replace broken devices, and failure to stock backup equipment. Often, the devices we received were used and old. Basic supplies would be out-of-stock. We found ourselves constantly begging for the things we needed, and then faced disappointment when they were the wrong size, missing important accessories, or sometimes totally inappropriate for our daughter's needs.
Next would come the inevitable billing and coding errors, and countless hours of our personal time on the phone correcting the mistakes. The more we paid attention to the paperwork, the more mistakes we'd find. We were even the victims of billing fraud, but with all the worries and obligations in our life, we barely had time to notice or deal with the problem. So we'd switch suppliers hoping for better service, but always found ourselves suffering the same headaches and disappointments. It eventually became apparent that the difficulties we'd endured were industry-wide.
So I created SMA Medical Supply to fill in those gaps that your usual equipment provider can't seem to fill:
- Seek out and provide medical devices that are appropriate for the care of infants and children, specifically those with SMA
- Develop product knowledge and personal understanding of what I sell
- Provide quick response to urgent needs
- Provide equipment prescribed by physicians that other DME companies aren't willing to provide
- Sell at competitive prices so that families can afford to provide their loved one with the things that will improve their quality of life
- Be willing to seek out new products for families upon request
- Provide exceptional customer service based on understanding and personal responsibility