Getting in step

Monday, July 31, 2006

Petersen Medical employees hit the pavement alongside asthma sufferers in June as part of the Salt Lake Asthma Walk and 5K.
It was a good way to get out and meet asthma patients and their families, as well as referral sources, said Petersen CEO Tom Bradley.
"We serve many patients who suffer from asthma, so we feel it is important to support the fundraising effort for treatment and finding a cure," said Bradley. "The mission of our company is to help people breathe easier."
This is the first year the 38-year-old oxygen and HME provider has sponsored the American Lung Association event.
Sponsoring an event is a great way to gain local visibility and strengthen referral relationships, said Joe Groden, president of Rochester, N.Y.-based JG Consulting.
"It gives a little publicity, and gives employees who participate a bit of teamwork," said Groden. "And then you're being viewed as providing a service."
Bradley said the company participated in Katrina relief and works with patient support group Better Breather's Club, sponsoring events and making their patients aware of the club's benefits.
Jack Evans, president of Global Media Marketing in Malibu, Calif., said some of the best partnering he's seen is between providers and support groups.
"It lends more credibility than just placing ads in the newspaper," said Evans. "It says, 'Yes, we are healthcare professionals and we work with related
Working with respiratory-focused groups is a natural fit for Peterson, which has more than 2,500 oxygen patients. The company is the sole provider of oxygen for Utah Medicaid, a three-year contract it has won since the program's inception in 1983.
"The (monthly) reimbursement is $114.50 for the concentrator plus four tanks," said Bradley. "It's challenging, but it's forced us to operate more efficiently. The state has required us in the past to visit all of our patients every 30 days. Some customers are more needy, but we try to provide the service they require."
Bradley said Peterson is looking to grow other areas of the business in the event that it won't always have that contract. An e-commerce site should be launched this summer to grow cash sales, he said.