Jerry Jones to HMEs: 'Open up your eyes'

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. - Apria's former CEO Jerry Jones offered some words of wisdom to HME providers during a recent telephone conversation with HME News.

"HME companies need to understand that their world is not the only one that is going to be changing," said Jones, who is now the chairman of LifeCare, a $70 million, 18-branch HME company in Southern California. "Everyone else in the healthcare system's world is going to change fairly dramatically, and they are going to have needs that maybe they haven't had in the past. HMEs have got to figure out how to tap into them."

Specifically, Jones said, providers who plan to survive well into the future must get creative and would do well to consider some of the following.

4    Develop new referral sources. These could include senior centers, outpatient surgery centers, dialysis centers and adult day cares.

4    Determine what seniors need and then fill those needs. For example, seniors need sedan car services to get to and from appointments. They also need help with activities of daily living such as shopping and moving furniture.

4    Partner with pharmacies to help seniors manage their medications.

4    Help seniors travel by taking them to the airport.

4    Anticipate problems related to competitive bidding and provide solutions. This could mean subcontracting with winners to provide equipment maintenance, 24-hour service response and clinical services.

In short, Jones said: "Figure out what you are good at and open up your eyes. You've got clinical support. You have distribution. You have the ability to bill third parties, and there are people beside homecare patients who need those services."