Is Greeley, Colo. big enough for two Don Pauls? We’ll find out pretty soon

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

GREELEY, Colo. — At least for the immediate future, Don Paul is going to be competing with someone he knows inside and out — himself.

In 1991, he opened Don Paul Respiratory here, which he sold to Rotech in 1996. In April, two months after Rotech laid off him and a bunch of other employees around the country as part of a company wide restructuring, he opened Paul Home Oxygen Service. “It’s kind of strange — I’m in competition with my own name,” Paul said about competing with his old company, which still goes by Don Paul Respiratory. “I have to explain to people that I’m Don Paul, but I’m no longer Don Paul Respiratory. I’m Paul Home Oxygen.”

That confusion should clear up soon. As part of its roll-up strategy in the late 1980s and 1990s, Rotech let stand the names of the companies it acquired. But under new CEO Philip Carter, the national plans to change the names of its branches — including Don Paul Respiratory — to Rotech, Paul said.

Paul Home Oxygen Service is part of AeroCare, a new HME roll-up headed by former Rotech CEO Steve Griggs. As part of his deal with AeroCare, Paul gets financial backing and a percentage of ownership in the location.

Paul expects the location to derive 75% of its business from Medicare, with most of that coming from home respiratory therapy.

Early last month, the branch’s first shipment of concentrators and compressor nebulizers — 12 each — arrived, and Paul had already lined up six or seven respiratory patients.

At the moment, Paul, who is a respiratory therapist, handles set-ups and deliveries. Brad Gies, who Paul hired away from another Rotech branch, manages the office.

That set-up suits Paul just fine.

“It’s fun – it’s back to my roots,” Paul said. “With my postion at Rotech as Colorado state manager, I didn’t have any contact with the public and patients. I’m really looking forward to that.” HME