Docs order by e-mail

Friday, April 30, 2004

ATHENS, Tenn. - The same technology that lets you order a quick burger and fries as you make the turn on a golf course has found a home in a palm device that lets referral sources order DME from their office.
A convalescent referral source places an order for durable medical equipment.

Instead of leaving pamphlets and prescription pads with the doc, Jaysec Technologies wants you to leave behind an IOS (Ideal Ordering System). When a referral source needs DME for a patient, he’ll drill through IOS touch screens, fill in the requisite patient and delivery information, and then transmit the order directly into an HME’s system via e-mail.

The cost to the doctor? Nothing. The cost to the HME is $60 per month.

“If it generates one oxygen referral, you’ve made your money back,” said Dan Dillon, owner of Jaysec Technologies.

He would know. Dillon is also the owner of Convalescent Supplies, based here, a $5 million HME provider that averages 10-20 referrals a day. Convalescent now has 60 of the IOS devices with referral sources that represent about 70% of his company’s orders.

IOS users can track their Web referrals on a Web site. If an HME finds that a referral source is not using the device, he can try it elsewhere.

The technology, which Dillon discovered on a golf cart last year, is new to the HME industry. Drive Medical is so excited by its potential they’ve signed an exclusive 12-month deal with Jaysec.

As part of the 12-month deal, Drive has agreed to purchase an undisclosed number of IOS from Jaysec monthly. In return, IOS catalogs will be anchored by Drive products and other Drive-sanctioned products.

This will limit the palm’s appeal, but Dillion figures that piggy-backing Drive’s growth curve is good enough for him. Jaysec also has signed a contract to supply IOS palms to Binson’s Home Healthcare in Ohio.

“The real sizzle [in IOS] is as a marketing tool for our customers who go into a hospital and eliminate the paperwork from checking someone out of the hospital,” said Doug Francis, Drive’s executive vice president.

The IOS begs a couple of immediate questions from providers worried about inducements and Stark laws. After briefing Elizabeth Hogue, a legal expert on inducement, she said she didn’t see any problem with IOS.

“The OIG has been pretty clear that when providers provide them with ‘single-use’ as opposed to ‘multi-use,’ like fax machines, it really is no problem,” she said.

Furthermore, Dillon said he has programmed competitors’ names and contact information into every IOS he’s left with referral sources. If the referral source desires, he can select one of Convalescent’s competitors and route the order into the competitor’s system.

One of Dillon’s competitors, Larry Davis at Archer’s Pharmacy in Sweetwater, Tenn., confirmed that he’s received referrals in his e-mail from Convalescent’s IOS.

“Limiting the referral source to my company only would mean they wouldn’t use IOS all the time,” said Dillon. “We want him to. We refer to ourselves as a referral clearinghouse.”