Employee-owned HME opens 2nd location

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Saturday, November 30, 2002

HUDSON, Fla. - Employee-owned and operated Bayonet Point Oxygen spent the past two years organizing and streamlining its operations, and now it's full-steam ahead.

The company opened its second location last month in Spring Hill, Fla., Hernando Medical Supply, and has expanded its rehab offerings (see story page 17). Both Bayonet's Hudson and Spring Hill locations cover about 2,400 square feet and provide the full array of HME products and services. Roughly 60% of the company's revenue comes from home respiratory therapy.

"In the last two years our main focus was operational," said COO Carol Acevedo. "It isn't going to do us any good to grow and get the business if we aren't going to make any money, I've seen that many times."

Since becoming employee-owned and operated in 2000, Bayonet has cleaned up its intake to minimize denials. That includes contacting patients before delivery to determine his true needs, ruling out same or similar problems, making sure the patient's doctor signs the order.

"Many companies just go and deliver and don't worry about that stuff," Acevedo said. "We can't do that."

As an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), the company must undergo an annual audit, which compares the company's performance to the previous year. Every employee gets a copy of the report, and how that comparison stacks up determines the price of share's individual employees own.

As far as the possibility of national competitive bidding, Acevedo hopes Bayonet's push to spear additional cash business kicks in long before any bidding program takes hold.

"Let's hope we've got enough cash coming in that it won't be an issue," she said. HME

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