Big cylinder, little cylinder

Thursday, May 31, 2007

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - About three years ago, officials at Responsive Respiratory saw the writing on the wall. If they didn't do something fast, products like Invacare's HomeFill and Sunrise Medical's iFill--devices that reduce provider deliveries by allowing respiratory patients to fill portable tanks in their home--would slash demand for Responsive Respiratory's bread and butter: regulators and high-pressure cylinders.
"We knew that was a threat," said Tom Bannon, company president. "We realized that we needed to do something to help providers reduce costs and keep them competitive and profitable. It also had to be simple for the patient to use."
Responsive's answer: The new Cyl-Fil Oxygen System.
In short, for $795, a provider receives two portable cylinders, a conserver, a carry bag, and a control regulator that regulates the cylinder refilling. If a provider prefers another brand of conserver, he can substitute two additional tanks.
This turnkey system allows patients (by opening and closing two cylinder valves) to fill the portable tanks from a larger reserve cylinder--Responsive recommends an H-250 (250-cubic feet) or larger T-cylinder (300 cubic feet). Depending on how much a patient ambulates and the size of the reservoir tank used, a provider can increase the time between deliveries from three to almost 13 weeks. Put another way, he can, on average, decrease his deliveries by 50%, according to Responsive's analysis. The Cyl-Fil system also includes a flow-control unit that can be used with the reservoir tank for emergency back-up use.
"During these trying times, providers must make the time to reduce costs and rethink how they service the patient yet not sacrifice that relationship," Bannon said.