CHAD sees brighter days ahead
CHATSWORTH, Calif. - Sales of CHAD Theraputics' Total O2 home oxygen filling station increased only 3% for fiscal year 2006, but the company's CEO expects changes in Medicare reimbursement to bolster future orders.
The new policy to cap Medicare oxygen reimbursement at 36 months has "intensified pressure on homecare providers to reduce operating and equipment costs," CEO Earl Yager stated in a June 29 release.
Over time, he said, this decrease in reimbursement will stimulate demand for the Total O2, which was designed to reduce provider deliveries and costs by allowing patients to fill portable cylinders in their homes. Rather than rushing out to buy the unit, however, many of CHAD's customers have adopted a "wait-and-see approach" until CMS clarifies how the cap will work, Yager said.
Among the questions that still need to be answered: Once CMS transfers equipment title to the patient after 36 months, who is responsible for repairing and maintaining it? If the provider fills that role, how much will CMS reimburse him? Additionally, providers wonder, how will portable oxygen be provided after the 36-month cap?
Yager made his comments in the company's report on its financial results for fiscal 2006.
Overall, CHAD suffered a net loss of $673,000 for fiscal year 2006.
Revenue from sales of oxygen conservers and therapeutic devices declined 11% for fiscal year 2006 compared to fiscal year 2005, reflecting a 29% decline in sales to domestic customers and a 331% increase in international sales. The decline in domestic sales was primarily due to pricing pressures and a previously reported reduction in sales to a major customer.
CHAD is in discussions with several parties concerning the distribution of both the Total O2 and products it is developing for the sleep disorder market, the company stated.