Professional Respiratory seeks to put its stamp on the Southeast

‘Grow or go’
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Professional Respiratory & Medical wants to be a contender, and it plans to use its competitive bidding contracts to get there.

“We want to maximize the opportunities in the markets,” said Carter Fuller, vice president of business development. “The days of trying to stay small (are gone). It’s almost a grow or go strategy.”

The provider, which offers a full line of HME, respiratory and power mobility equipment, won several contracts in Chattanooga, where it is based, and Knoxville, where it had only a small presence. It has leased a larger space in Knoxville and begun hiring several employees. Professional also plans an aggressive marketing strategy, said Fuller.

“You can’t sit back,” he said. “In Round 1, the guys who won sat back and expected the business to come to them, and that was a disaster.” 

With the single payment amounts for Round 2 coming in at an average cut of 45%, the provider is looking at efficiencies to reduce costs. It plans to switch its oxygen patients in the competitive bidding areas to non-delivery models and plans to upgrade its fleet of vehicles to more fuel-efficient models.

Unfortunately, operating leaner also means less service, says CEO Kyle Williams.

“You are not going to be able to service patients like you used to,” he said. “The days of just running out (when patients call) and fixing something are gone.”

Professional Respiratory & Medical also has its eye on non-bid markets. The provider recently added a warehouse and two salespeople in nearby northern Alabama and plans to expand its reach into the rural areas outside of its current markets.

“We would like to have a nice stamp on the Southeast,” said Williams. “In a couple of years, we could be a serious contender.”