Maldonado Medical goes green to save green

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - When Maldonado Medical expanded into the SoCal HME market it decided to go native, so to speak.

"California is the epitome of what 'green' is," said Brandon Maldonado, president. "They are so environmentally conscious, you are almost expected to move into that role."

To that end, the Phoenix, Ariz.-based Maldonado Medical, which also has locations in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, Calif., has invested in technology that allows employees in the three locations to hold meetings without having to travel; has adopted a paperless system; and has given delivery techs notebook computers to use in the field.

In addition to meeting the state's expectations, being "green" is saving Maldonado money and making the provider more efficient. Going paperless, for example, eliminates costs associated with printing, filing and storage, and saves the environment about 10,000 sheets of paper annually. It also speeds up the patient intake process.

"We are better able to serve our patients and our physicians," said Matthew Perez, director of operations.

Another way Maldonado is "green": It uses a G.E.M. car for deliveries within a five-mile radius--the provider's office is strategically located in a medical zone--in Santa Monica. The fully electric car can operate for up to 30 miles on a single charge and is rechargeable in a 110-volt wall socket. Besides saving on fuel costs, the G.E.M offers other benefits: free parking--even at parking meters--and tax credits.

"Southern California has positioned itself to incentivize going green," said Maldonado. "It's so congested here that parking is a commodity. Between the tax credit and the parking, it makes it a lot easier to do business."

With reimbursement declining and the cost of doing business rising, it might seem that investing in green technology would be at the bottom of a provider's list of priorities.

"It's one of those things where you are spending money now to save money and make money in the future," said Maldonado. "We did a cost analysis and it just made sense."

While green practices are slowly catching on in Phoenix--referral offices are starting to get interested in paperless technology themselves--it's really in California that the company is reaping rewards.

"(Customers) see the value in what we are trying to do and it excites them to (be) associated with a company that ...wants to take care of the environment as much as possible," said Maldonado.