Adorno tries new approach

Saturday, June 30, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With a new sales-driven business model in its back pocket, Adorno Rogers Technology grew from six to nine locations in May, and it has no plans to stop there.
Since late last summer, Adorno has gradually phased out a clinically-driven business model that revolved around staffing its locations with therapists. Now it hires whoever's "the best person for the job," whether he's an ATP, ATS or CRTS, said COO Scott Higley.
"It's common sense," said Higley, who left Pride Mobility's Quantum Rehab last year to join Adorno. "It has been better that way for the company, as a whole, and for consistent growth."
Adorno added locations in Jefferson City and Eldorado Springs, Mo., and Springfield, Ill. The company also has five locations in Texas and one in Oklahoma City, Okla. It expects to add a handful of other locations later this year. (See story page 34.)
Growth has been Adorno's goal ever since Richland Ventures and First Avenue Partners, two venture capital firms, took over the company in 2004 and 2005, respectively. (The firms came into the picture after Operation Wheeler Dealer caused the company "financial distress," Higley said)
"Yes, (our investors) expect a return on investment," said Joey Harwell, president and CEO. "But also, we've just found that the more sales-oriented people are thriving. Clinicians sometimes have a hard time transitioning from a clinical to an entrepreneurial and sales oriented environment."
Clinicians who have succeeded still represent about 20% of Adorno's 70 employees. Its sales team comprises 20 employees.
Considering that CMS plans to require that independent ATPs perform evaluations for certain power wheelchairs beginning April 2008, Adorno's decision to move away from its clinical roots may be a better idea than officials first thought, they said.
"It may turn out that it's redundant to have clinicians on both sides of the equation," Harwell said.
At the end of the day, Higley looks forward to watching Adorno focus more on meeting patient needs.
"Before, when we were more clinically based, we'd even host CEU courses," he said. "While we still do in-services, we're Adorno Mobility not Adorno University."