Pharmacy ups HME focus

Sunday, August 31, 2008

MARYVILLE, Mo.--With the July opening of Rogers Home Medical Equipment, Rogers Pharmacy intends to continue building on its reputation as a complete healthcare organization.

“That’s who we are historically,” said Mel Rogers, owner and pharmacist. “We’ve always had wheelchairs and walkers. Probably 15 years ago, we just slowly grew into this side of it. It’s not like we just jumped in.”

Rogers has three pharmacy/supply stores in Missouri. The 10,000-square-foot St. Joseph store, for example, features 4,500 square feet of DME, as well as oxygen, mastectomy, colostomy and wound dressing supplies.

After examining the market for several years, Rogers determined Maryville, a regional hub with a growing hospital, could sustain a store dedicated to HME.

Before Rogers opened its 1,500-square-foot store, people traveled up to 50 miles to the St. Joseph store to purchase HME and supplies like diabetic shoes or lift chairs, Rogers said. The new store, offering a “whole gamut” of products, fills a void for the community of 10,000 people.

The store also provides access to healthcare professionals. The company employs RTs, including Sheryl Smith, who manages the new location.

“We wanted to bring a little bit more of a skilled individual onboard to grow our sleep apnea business and oxygen,” Rogers said. “We’re growing really rapidly in that area.”

Rogers may not stop with four locations.

“There are some other locations out there that, on the surface, we’ve looked into,” Rogers said.

Rogers Pharmacy has been able to weather the market so far by starting with cash sales and progressing to third-party payers, Rogers said.

“Our cash sales are probably a little bit higher than most—I would say 25% to 28%,” he said. “Our worry of course is trying to get overcommitted with anything the government has to do with paying you.”