It's in the S.T.A.R.S.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arete Sleep Health has new ownership, a new name and new services.

The provider in March was acquired by the former leadership of 02 Science, an HME roll-up that had a strong presence in the early 2000s. 

Arete, a provider of sleep diagnostic services, has been renamed STARS Healthcare and has added CPAP and respiratory services to its offerings.

“Sleep Testing and Respiratory Services is what we do and it’s the way we are moving forward,” said COO Jeff Wurgler. 

STARS has 100 employees; eight sleep centers—six in the Phoenix area and two in Tucson; and two HME locations, in Phoenix and Tucson. 

Under the new ownership, it plans to position itself as a full-service respiratory provider, with RTs providing the patient care, something many providers have cut back on as reimbursements have dwindled.

“I feel like the physicians have a little more faith that we have RTs to take care of patients,” said Wurgler, himself an RT for nearly 20 years. “We’re hands-on and there’s a lot of communication that goes on.”

That’s especially true with CPAP patients—the provider tries to get them compliant within the first 90 days of therapy. That includes setting up the patient in the home, and following up by phone at 14, 30, 60 and 90 days—more if needed, said Wurgler.

STARS will also look to grow its oxygen business, said Wurgler. The provider does some POCs, along with homefill and stationary systems. 

Despite market uncertainty, Wurgler feels positive about the future.

“I believe there is potential out there in the sleep and respiratory services, and I believe there always will be,” he said.