POC manufacturers bullish on future

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Manufacturers of portable oxygen systems emerged as niche players in a world dominated by standard concentrators and back-up tanks, but they are now aiming for mainstream acceptance.
The "Eclipse oxygen system is focused on the fleet oxygen concentrator needs of the provider, a very large market," said Ed Radtke, vice president of sales and marketing at Sequal Technologies.
SeQual realized a boost from CMS when the payer coded its Eclipse as an E1392 last fall, joining Inogen as the only other concentrator on the market with that designation. CMS pays about $20 more per month ($250) for portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) than it does for a standard concentrator and cylinders.
Manufacturers of POCs still have a tough time persuading suppliers to pay five or six times as much for their units, despite the operational efficiencies that these new technologies bring to the table. But they're getting help from consumers drawn to the lightweight solutions.
With consumers calling the shots, and CMS paying more for devices like the Eclipse and Inogen One, manufacturers are bullish on the fate of their technology.
"Providers are reviewing their business models and in many cases, changing to a more operationally efficient methodology," said Bob Fary, vice president of sales at Inogen. "New technology is the enabler for them to make these changes."