Poll: 57% of providers report increase or no change in net revenues

Friday, November 16, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine – It wasn’t the best of years; it wasn’t the worst of years—that may be the best way to sum up the financial health of HME providers in 2012.

Despite doing business in an industry fraught with competitive bidding and audits, a good number of providers were able to eke out increased net revenues in 2012 compared to 2011.

“We increased revenues through an increased web presence and a larger online advertising budget,” said Jim Clore of Access Mobility Equipment in Fredericksburg, Va.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents to a recent HME NewsPoll reported that their net revenues will increase or stay the same in 2012 compared to 2011. Of those who reported an increase in net revenues, 66% reported an increase of 5% or less.

Other providers who reported a bump in their bottom lines credited their efforts to diversify their product and payer mixes, to ramp up marketing, to enhance services and to increase efficiency.

“HMO business, as well as increased efficiency in internal operations, are responsible for revenue increases,” said George Nour of Elixair Medical in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

Forty-three percent of respondents to the poll reported that their net revenues would decrease in 2012. Of those who reported a decrease in net revenues, 68% reported a decrease of 5% or less.

“Even though gross revenues are similar, net is down—that’s not good for any business,” said TJ McEnany of Wheelchairs Plus in Middleburg, Fla. “Lowering reimbursement and increased regulation equals minimal to no capital to reinvest back into the company.”

Looking forward, 63% of respondents to the poll reported that they expect net revenues to increase or stay the same in 2013. Providers expect their challenges to continue, of course, but they hope the groundwork they’ve laid in areas like documentation gathering will start to pay off.

“It’s been quite a learning curve for physicians and we are hopeful that within the next year they finally start documenting their patient needs and send us the progress notes without us nagging them endlessly,” said Lori Sears of Active Home Medical Supply in Lapeer, Mich. “We can see things improving, but there’s a long way to go.”