Home Oxygen Company, Philips partner on ‘virtual’ model

Friday, February 23, 2018

MODESTO, Calif. – Provider Todd Usher says there’s a better way to get patients set up on oxygen and it doesn’t involve delivery trucks.

The owner of Home Oxygen Company recently took part in a pilot program with Philips Respironics for “virtual” home delivery of POCs. The provider took care of all intake processes, like verifying eligibility. The manufacturer then shipped the equipment to the patient and provided documented education over the phone with a respiratory therapist.

“It’s still our customer,” he said. “But now, I can simply partner with Respironics and pay a flat fee to get those systems sent out and set up, and be done with it.”

Once patients were set up, Home Oxygen Company captured documentation, including a tracking number to verify delivery, using Adobe Sign, and submitted claims for reimbursement.

A key factor in the success of the pilot, Usher says: excluding patients who it wouldn’t be appropriate for, and ensuring the patients who are have a support system in place, especially during the initial set-up.

“Usually we ask that someone be there for the phone education, so if they are not quite understanding it, or need help lifting or opening the box,” he said. “That’s part of what we learned in the pilot; making sure everything is in place.”

Philips, which plans to roll out the program more widely this spring, already has a similar program for CPAP devices that has also been a success, says Tony Ross, senior marketing manager.

“When the patient satisfaction and adherence data was compiled, it was clear we are truly on to something,” he said. “Customers started to ask us about providing similar services for oxygen.”

Usher has embraced a non-delivery model for oxygen since he opened in 2008 and this program takes his efforts that much further. It allows him to save costs associated with maintaining inventory, managing a fleet of delivery trucks and hiring delivery technicians.

“If I can shave a point or two off my costs, then I am going to do it,” he said.


So if a manufacturer is providing the equipment, delivering the equipment, instructing the patient, providing repair, etc., what are DME providers reduced to? We are just there to absorb the risk of insurance denying payment. When we lose an audit, will the manufacturer refund our payments?