Pennsylvania partners say four heads are better than one

Sunday, February 29, 2004

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - If two heads are better then one, than three should provide even more fire power. At least the partners at Dynamic Healthcare, who combined their HME companies two and a half years ago, feel that way.

“When you look back, I feel it has been an easy transition, and I think the reason is because we all get along,” said Terry Luft, noting that the partners were friends before combining their businesses. “We couldn’t be four random people off the street who came together to run a business.”

Getting along is one thing, making money is another, and Dynamic also has excelled in that area.

In 2002, for example, revenue at Luft’s company, Central Medical, jumped 30%. In 2003, it increased 25%.

The companies that joined to form Dynamic Healthcare are East Suburban Medical (Pittsburgh), Gatti Healthcare (Indiana, Dubois, Bradford), Central Medical Equipment (Harrisburg, York). Business consultant Steve Brody also is an investor. A fourth company, Hess Healthcare Services, left Dynamic within a year of its creation.

Dynamic Healthcare is the venture’s holding company. The individual HMEs operate under their own names as divisions, covering different areas of the state.

“Ninety percent of the time I’m running my own show, but if Steve and Bob or Lou come and say that this year we are going in this direction, I’ve got to go because I’m part of the team,” Luft said.

While the arrangement offers some economies of scale, the greatest benefit comes from the partners sharing information and expertise with each other. Lou Gatti handles compliance issues. Bob Sovak (East Suburban Medical) is the numbers guy. Luft brings the sales and marketing experience.

“There is strength in education,” Luft said. “It’s nice to have someone say, ‘I was already down that road. Don’t go there.’ It’s like having three managers to help me out.”