Non-profit doesn’t mean no profit

Sunday, August 31, 2003

NORTH PORT, Fla. - Bon Secours Personal Care Services may be part of a large non-profit hospital system, but that doesn’t mean the new HME can afford to lose money, said Director Sandy Kaskey.

“We definitely have to make money,” Kaskey said. “That’s what makes the world go ‘round. I’ve still got to have my salary paid.”

Since opening its doors April 7 in North Port, a community that lacked a local HME, Bon Secours has attracted about 100 rental patients, 20% of those respiratory patients.

The company, which provides most everything except custom rehab, is shooting for 100 respiratory patients by this time next year, Kaskey said.

Bon Secours is part of the Catholic Bon Secours Heath System.

Its key staff consists of four registered nurses with critical care experience.

While it’s unusual for an HME to employ four RNs, it makes sense for Bon Secours Personal Care Services, which grew out of an HHA by the same name.

The HME’s nurses train patients who visit their showroom on how to properly use nebulizers and other DME.

They also provide in-home training to respiratory patients who suffer from CHF or some other secondary condition.

“When we teach something in the home, they retain it a little better than when they are in a facility,” Kaskey said.

“We can also put notes on their refrigerator, put notes in their bathroom. We can help them change their diet habits because we see what they have in their cupboards.”

By doing in-depth patient assessments, the nurses often pick up on a potential problem, such as shortness of breath or weight gain and can alert the patient’s physician, Kaskey added.

The docs like that depth of patient care and clinical expertise, said Kaskey, adding that it gives her company a competitive edge over other HMEs in neighboring communities.

“If you provide wonderful customer service, they will come,” she said. “If they call and need a walker there in two hours, we have that walker there in two hours. If it means that I, as the director, need to get in my vehicle and go deliver it, that’s what we do.” HME