'In this industry, you have to diversify'

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - One service that hasn't gained too much traction in the HME industry is home sleep testing, but provider Eric Parkhill is making a go at it.

In 2008, CMS said it would pay for the therapy, but it prohibited CPAP providers from doing both the tests and the CPAP setups. That doesn't mean providers can't enter into the market, said Parkhill, but they must follow legal guidelines closely.

"It's a completely separate (business)," said Parkhill, vice president of both HMP Diagnostics and Home Medical Professionals, in a recent HME News TV interview. "It's headquartered in a different city with different operations and a separate tax ID."

Currently, HMP's primary focus is managing sleep labs for small hospitals, but Parkhill wants to expand the business to offer home testing to patients nationwide.

The model is simple. HMP assesses the patient to determine if home sleep testing is appropriate and does the insurance verification. The test is shipped to the patient, along with an instructional video.

"They can call us 24 hours a day," said Parkhill. "Once they administer the test, they ship it back to us. Twenty-four hours after we receive it, we have the report to the physician. It's all interpreted by a board certified sleep physician."

HMP will partner with HME providers who can set the patient up on CPAP.

The market potential for home testing is huge, said Parkhill.

"There are people who don't want to have a traditional sleep study," he said. "Home testing is a good way to screen them."

View the video at www.hmenews.com.