Mail-order migration

Friday, May 24, 2013

It’s been a busy year for Rich Roberts, CEO of CPAP Care Club in Nashville, Tenn. In just 12 months, he’s made a dozen acquisitions, tripled his workforce and won CPAP contracts in every market. Roberts spoke with HME News recently about the shift in HME to a “least-cost provider marketplace.”

HME News: CPAP Care Club is a CPAP re-supply business. How do you plan to do CPAP machines under competitive bidding?

Rich Roberts: Our main focus is still going to be on resupplies, but in select markets, we will subcontract CPAPs, as well. Mail order is not efficient for things where the patient has to be fitted, but for supplies, a mail-order environment works.

HME: Do you feel that the HME industry is shifting to more of a mail-order model?

Roberts: I look at this as an industry that has great margins right now. That is being migrated toward a least-cost provider marketplace. I believe that a least-cost provider marketplace is defined as a call center/mail-order environment. 

HME: What would you say to providers who are unhappy that most contracts went to out-of-area suppliers like CPAP Care Club?

Roberts: The bids are based upon the abilities of companies to provide a certain level of service and price. You can provide a very efficient level of service for patients from a mail-order environment—as long as you can provide the hands-on care to make sure you are driving compliance at the same time.

HME: How will you make sure compliance rates don’t decline under the lower reimbursement rates?

Roberts: The bar of technology for being able to measure compliance continues to get better. Whether it’s remotely or next door, it doesn’t matter, just as long as someone is doing it.