Saturday, January 31, 2004

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. - Beirne’s Home Medical Equipment in the past year has twice gone up in smoke, but co-owner Stephen Votto says that the family-owned HME is still doing fine.
Beirne's Home Medical Equipment after burning ...

Last April, Votto watched the 7,000-square-foot showroom in Hamden Conn., burn down as a result of a welding accident at the business next door.

Five months later, Beirne’s had a new home in a North Haven where it is still going strong, despite what a local newspaper article lead many in the town to believe.

An article about the sale and closing of Beirne’s Pharmacy in the New Haven Register in November caused a stir about the closing of the HME as well as the pharmacy.
...and reopened in its new location.

“Customers that have been with us forever sometimes did business with both the pharmacy and the HME,” said Votto. “When they saw the article, a lot of people were going around saying ‘Beirne’s is out of business.’ We got a lot of phone calls.”

The problems didn’t end once the customers were straightened out, however.

“We have had people who have sent out to their carriers for prior approvals, and they will get back a response that says Beirne’s is no longer a provider,” said Votto.

Since Votto knew his father was considering selling his pharmacy, the HME left Beirne’s Pharmacy, Inc. and created FamilyMeds, Inc., which is how the business now appears in provider directories.

Slowly the confusion is clearing up for the company. Votto is working on correcting the provider listings, and as the newspaper correction said: “[Beirne’s] is still going strong.”