Thursday, October 31, 2002

TAMPA, Fla. - With a quarterly growth rate of about 90% stretching back to 1995 when he started the company, you might say that Mario Garcia, Jr. gets a charge out of providing TENS and other electro-medical services.

"What we've been able to do is find a niche," Garcia said. "People are educating themselves and looking for alternatives to drugs as a first line of treatment."

EMSI generates about 95% of its revenue treating chronic pain, but Garcia has eyes for the $125 million U.S. market for bone-growth stimulation. EMSI has stepped to the plate and begun filing the necessary paperwork with the FDA to begin clinical trials on its own bone-growth stimulation unit. Currently, only three companies in the United States provide the therapy, Garcia said.

"It is a needed product," Garcia said. "It gets people better 50% faster, and that equals dollars and payers are recognizing it."

At the moment, Garcia's business divides into two parts. Roughly 90% involves providing services to patients referred to him by doctors and other sources. That business is overwhelmingly reimbursed for by private insurers.

EMSI's second division is a sort of turnkey operation for providers who offer electomedical services. (Garcia doesn't have a Medicare provider number and is happy to let others grapple with the program's paperwork.)

Current estimates have the $1 billion worldwide market for electromedical stimulation growing at an annual clip of 42% over the next five years. Garcia sees EMSI's quarterly growth continuing at a 90% clip through 2004, and he's taken the steps to help ensure that.

As a marketing tool, JCAHO-accredited EMSI began this summer providing CEU units in electrical stimulation to OTs, PTs, chiropractors, massage therapists and athletic trainers.

"If they don't see us, they don't use us," Garcia said. "By educating them, we have more opportunity to market." HME