The Bellevue Way: Northwest provider remains ‘fiercely independent’

Friday, February 12, 2016

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Bellevue Healthcare is repositioning itself to color in more of its regional footprint, say company execs.

“As we get to a certain scale, we have to refocus on how we get more growth,” said Joel Gallion, president.

The provider in January shook up its executive teamand added a retail location in Redmond, Wash. In addition to Gallion’s appointment as president, Peter Norman will transition from president to CEO; Josh Moritz has been named executive vice president of internal operations; and Bryce Schaffner has been named executive vice president of business development.

Although most of Bellevue’s 17 locations are in Washington state, the provider also has a small presence in Idaho, California and Oregon, all areas where Gallion says the company could do more.

“I think we have a lot of growth opportunity just in our existing footprint,” he said.

There’s also a lot of opportunity embedded in Bellevue’s product mix. The provider offers a full line of home medical, mobility and respiratory equipment and services, as well as complex rehab and home accessibility, but not in every location. For example, only its Portland, Ore., location does complex rehab.

“Even in the markets we are in, we have a lot of growing we can do without ever opening up another location,” Gallion said.

These strategic moves will build on a foundation Bellevue has built in not only a diversified product mix but also a diversified payer mix.

“We’ve never been Medicare dependent,” Gallion said. “When you get too dependent on one channel for revenue it’s not sustainable.”

That foundation also includes a tradition of hiring college graduates into entry-level positions and bringing them up through the system.

“We teach them ‘the Bellevue Way,’ which gives us the ability to train and teach,” he said. “Wherever they end up in the company, they have a great base of knowledge. Any one of my managers can deliver a bed or trouble shoot and oxygen concentrator.”

Gallion himself came up through the ranks at Bellevue and has seen a lot of changes in his 12 years in the industry. He’s particularly troubled by the rampant consolidation he’s seeing, which, along with continual drops in reimbursement, make it tough for independent providers to survive.

“Every day there’s another strong industry player that’s been gobbled up,” said Gallion. “We’re fiercely independent and will remain so.”