POCs: Not on the fringe much longer

Monday, November 26, 2012

When HME providers put pen to paper and figure out the higher costs of using a delivery vs. a non-delivery model to provide home oxygen therapy, they get it, says Tony Anzalone, vice president of marketing for InovaLabs. The problem: They’re often overwhelmed by the thought of transitioning. Anzalone offered these words of wisdom during a recent HME News TV interview.

Don’t be left behind

Right now, Anzalone estimates that portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) make up only 10% of the oxygen concentrators currently placed with patients. But with dwindling reimbursement, POCs are the way of the future, he says.

“It started very much with the fringe players,” he said. “But now…we’re seeing real adoption and change by the leaders moving in this direction…(and) they’ll set the pace for the 


Take it step by step

Once providers have made the business decision to transition to a non-delivery model, it’s a matter of transitioning their capital investments in tanks and trucks into POCs, Anzalone said.

“We see them taking it in bites,” he said. “They start with a minimal investment in POCs—financing many of them so they’re managing their cash flow as opposed to putting a large amount of cash up front—and transitioning in blocks at a time of new patients and slowly evolving and retiring their 


Spend to earn

While providers see the long-term cost benefits of using a non-delivery model, the start-up costs of moving in that direction are still financially painful. Anzalone says providers need to shift their attitudes.

“They’re grappling with…they have to spend more money to get out of (a deliver model) rather than spending less,” he said. “(But) the more money comes from investing in technology to solve redundancy.”