Cuts boost business

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NEW YORK--Cash-strapped providers have begun to view refurbished HME in a new light, say officials at Inventory Solutions.

“When you have reimbursement cuts, there’s only a limited number of places where you can save,” said John Wittenberg, president. “One place: Buying products at less expensive prices.”

Inventory Solutions, a distributor that buys, refurbishes and then sells used respiratory equipment, offers 20% to 40% discounts.

Due to increased business, Inventory Solutions has grown its sales force to 23 employees.

In the past, providers have shied away from buying refurbished equipment, citing concerns about quality. That’s changing, Wittenberg said.

“There are more highly developed companies that do much better jobs at refurbishing than they have in the past,” he said.

Inventory Solutions sends equipment to different companies to get refurbished, depending on their specialty.

Additionally, warranties have helped sell providers on refurbished equipment. Inventory Solutions offers at least 90 days.

Alan Landauer, an Inventory Solutions customer, believes refurbished equipment has its place, as long as providers buy it from a reputable distributor.

“You may not use it for every item, but when you’re making a small purchase or if you’re getting into a new product category or market, it’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Landauer, chairman of Landauer Metropolitan in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Other providers prefer to stick to new equipment.

“Since we have to carry oxygen concentrators for their full useful lifetime, the only way to get that is new equipment,” said Sam Clay, president of Clay Home Medical in Petersburg, Va.