Dreaming big

Thursday, July 31, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY - Sleep-therapy provider Breathing Disorders has been busy lately. In August, the company opened a new location in Austin, Texas; in May, it landed what appears to be a sizeable chunk of venture capital; and at about the same time the VC came through, it initiated a marketing push that targets post-op patients.

“It’s a nice industry to be in because there are a ton of people who are afflicted, and it is all out there waiting for us,” said CFO Bob Kitchell.

Council Oak, a local banking firm that invests in Oklahoma companies, provided the venture capital. Breathing Disorders President Andrew Macias declined to say how much VC it received, but he wasn’t shy about offering this: “The key objective here is to make sure we have the capital funding because there is tremendous demand for our programs.”

If everything goes right, Breathing Disorders, which operates seven locations in five states, could grow its revenue to $20 million in three years, he added.

Founded in 1995, Sleep Disorders boasts of superior patient outcomes because of its disease state management protocols (HME News 5/03).

Earlier this year, the company began marketing its services to cardiologists because a number of reports have linked OSA to a variety of cardiac problems. With another clinical study in hand, the company recently began alerting hospitals to potential problems (desaturation, for example) that OSA sufferers might encounter in recovery following surgery. That move has already generated “a tremendous amount of referrals,” Macias said.

“We don’t market just to the sleep specialist,” Macias said. “We need to market to everyone. Let’s make them more aware so they can manage their own patients. And of course, who are they going to refer to? Those who assisted in making them more aware.”

The company announced July 1 that it planned to open a new location in Austin, Texas on Aug. 1, and is looking at Amarillo, Texas, Las Vegas and Charlotte, N.C. as sites that could complement existing locations, Macias said. HME