Gary Robbins brings business background to HME

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Businessman turned HME provider Gary Robbins acquired Alert Medical Equipment in September 2010 and has spent the intervening months "bringing it back to life."

It's paying off. Business has grown 20%.

"We've improved business standards," said Robbins. "And we've focused on the different markets we want to go after."

The 18-year-old Alert Medical, which also has locations in Clewiston and Naples, offers a full line of durable medical equipment, respiratory services and medical supplies. 

Medicare comprises about 60% of its overall business, a number Robbins is diligently decreasing, he said.

"We're going more toward the retail demographic," he said. "We plan to revamp the retail showroom at our Naples location. We've also been creating a website that will have 15,000 products on it and we'll be able to ship nationwide."

All three of Alert Medical's locations will be affected by Round 2 of competitive bidding, but Robbins thinks whittling the number of providers in an area could create an increase in cash sales.

"When you start cutting back on the number of providers and where they are located, it makes it harder for patients to get quality of care and service," he said. "They are more apt to spend their own money, rather than use insurance, to get the products they want." 

Robbins, who also owns a plastics company and a real estate firm, says Medicare could learn a thing or two about running a business.

"Before, I had more faith in our government's ability to know what's going on and who's doing what," he said. "It seems like they keep creating new laws and regulations that actually hinder productivity of business and the care of patients. If they truly wanted to save money, they'd look at how other industries conduct business, rather than keep cutting reimbursement."