Oxygen provider bets on rehab

Sunday, September 30, 2007

OREM, Utah - Petersen Medical, a provider known mostly for its home oxygen products and services, acquired Access Medical in August, making it a player in power mobility devices nearly overnight.
"We do some rehab right now, but compared to some of our competitors, it's not that much," said Tom Bradley, owner and president of Petersen Medical. "We'll be very competitive in that market now."
Currently, home oxygen comprises about 70% of Petersen Medical's product mix, and rehab comprises about 15%, Bradley said.
Access Medical is a growing rehab provider with offices in Orem and Blanding, Utah. Since opening in March 2006, it has provided about 250 PMDs. The provider has generated about $1 million in revenues in its first year, according to owner Blaine Hunt.
Bradley believes "now's the time" to strengthen Petersen Medical's rehab business, despite increasingly strict documentation guidelines and shrinking reimbursement.
"We may go through some tough times in the near future, but the reality is that there's always going to be a need for rehab equipment," he said. "Later, when everyone's backed out, we'll still be here."
By acquiring Access Medical, Petersen Medical also added about 100 oxygen patients to its roster. Additionally, it broke into the Blanding market.
Hunt and Nick Jonutz, vice president of Access Medical, have joined Petersen Medical to head up its PMD business.
"Access Medical was taking off, and there was a good chance we were going to make it," Hunt said. "But due to (the PMD changes) and national competitive bidding, it was going to be high risk for a small company like us."