AeroCare exec talks future of company, industry

Friday, November 7, 2014

With more than 25 years under his belt in the HME industry, provider Steve Griggs has seen a lot of changes, but he has stuck with it. In 2002, he founded Orlando-based AeroCare after a stint with Rotech. Today, the company stands poised for growth, thanks to a planned merger with MergeWorthRx. Griggs spoke with HME News recently about the future of AeroCare—and the HME industry.

HME News: How are you looking to grow AeroCare? Both organically and through acquisitions?

Steve Griggs: The merger certainly allows us to acquire more locations, but organic growth is very, very important to us. We will have a significant part of the company focused on organic growth, and another portion that will focus on acquisition opportunities. We think there are people out there that realize how difficult it is to get scale and implement systems, and they may be looking for a home for their employees and patients. We want to be an option for them. 

HME: AeroCare is a respiratory company. Do you see that changing?

Griggs: Before the merger, there were limits on capital and knowledge and experience—this might give us greater opportunity to expand our line as we find people with added experience in a variety of different lines. But we’ll stay predominantly respiratory for the foreseeable future. For us, focusing on that space has been the right thing to do.

HME: Thanks to competitive bidding and other challenges, the industry is shrinking. Do you see that continuing in the future?

Griggs: I do believe that there will be fewer providers—maybe not nationally, but in a given market, there is only room for a handful of providers of size in a particular market. There will always be a place for niche players, but there won’t be the magnitude of players in any given area, particularly in a competitive bid market. Scale and system are going to be the key, which doesn’t lend itself to a lot of players in a given marketplace. 

HME: But it’s not all gloom and doom?

Griggs: There is opportunity. I think patient unit growth is the thing that keeps everybody hopeful. There will be more patients needing our products and services, but the challenges are how to deliver services at an appropriate and efficient rate. That’s the challenge that everyone is struggling with, whether you’re one location or multiple locations.