2011 HME Excellence Awards

Monday, November 21, 2011

NORTH HUNTINGTON, Pa. - QualiCare Home Medical puts up some impressive numbers. 

With a single respiratory-focused location in North Huntington, Pa., QualiCare boasts revenues of $4.5 million and sales growth of about 20% each year. It's a seven-year-old company serving about 1,000 patients with 23 full-time employees, and it relies on Medicare for only 17% of sales.

There's no silver bullet propelling QualiCare's growth. Instead, says owner Bob Shellenberger, the key is found in basic fundamentals. 

"No. 1, when we started, our focus was respiratory with strong clinical programs that monitor outcomes," he says. 

Shellenberger's team stays in constant contact with physicians and referral sources. His purchasers work with vendors to achieve the best pricing possible. Shellenberger takes advantage of all co-marketing services available from vendors, as well as from The VGM Group.

But QualiCare also profited from Shellenberger's eagerness to try new things. First it was continuous pressure and home oxygen, then ventilators, hospice care and pediatrics.

"We look at how we could get into little niches," he says. 

Shellenberger also invested in technology right from the beginning to create the most efficient business he could, with back-end software from Brightree. 

So while he's been able to sustain a profitable business despite the reimbursement crunch, Shellenberger decided last month to sell to Rotech to ensure the business' future growth.

"We're growing the business, but the value of the company is continuing to go down," he says.  "We decided it was time."

Shellenberger expects things to change for the better after the sale, in the form of additional services and expanded purchasing power. 

"They bring a lot to the table," he says.