Bellevue grows on independent platform

Friday, January 24, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – While many independent complex rehab providers are selling or merging, provider Peter Norman is bucking the trend. He opened his 16th location on Nov. 4, this one in Portland, Ore.

“There aren’t a lot of independents left in the Pacific Northwest,” said Norman, president of Bellevue Healthcare. 

The Portland, Ore., location joins other locations in Washington state, Idaho and California. Bellevue Healthcare, founded by Norman in 2000, also does business in respiratory, home accessibility and HME.

A big reason Bellevue Healthcare has been able to continue growing: key managed care contracts, Norman said.

“They recognize that service is sometimes on the back burner with nationals, and they know we give good support to patients and offer more product choices,” he said.

Complex rehab, in particular, is an area where Bellevue Healthcare can really focus on service, Norman said.

“With competitive bidding and other changes in Medicare, a lot of HME has become a basic-level commodity—Medicare is driving the market to zero service,” he said. “In complex rehab, it’s still service first. Price is important, but not the most important factor.”

While Bellevue Healthcare has seen steady growth over the years, it’s not the provider’s main goal, Norman said. 

“Economies of scale are important, but growth isn’t our focus,” he said. “Ensuring the company is sustainable and healthy is.”