HME providers making jump to pharmacy

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

In the past year, Dallas healthcare attorney Edward Vishnevetsky has worked with four DME providers that have expanded into pharmacy. Vishnevetsky works in the Dallas office of Munsch Hardt Kopf Harr as an associate in the business litigation section. HME News recently spoke with Vishnevetsky about this industry trend.

HME News: Why are HME providers looking to add pharmacy? 

Edward Vishnevetsky: Pharmacy is one of the last remaining lucrative areas in healthcare. HME providers know they have patients with diabetes because they’re selling glucose monitors and lancets. Each of them probably takes one or two medications for their diabetes. If you can go to a one-stop-shop, it’s a new revenue source for a captive audience of patients you already have.

HME: What kind of pharmacy services are they looking to provide?

Vishnevetsky: It depends on the patients. Some providers may have disease-based practices. It may be only doing a certain type of product in your DME and in your pharmacy, rather than trying to open it up for everything.

HME: How do they typically structure this type of venture? 

Vishnevetsky: Sometimes you can create one company to do it all. More times, you wind up having two companies separate in nature but that have similar DBAs or are affiliated. It’s the same ownership. You would tell the patient you have an affiliated ownership interest. 

HME: How does a provider make the jump into pharmacy?

Vishnevetsky: I think lot of DME providers know how hard DME is to learn, and they may think, ‘I can’t learn pharmacy.’ They can be surprised to learn other areas of healthcare are regulated but there’s not as many regulations.