Provider goes it alone

Monday, April 30, 2007

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. - HomeCare New England may have only one year of business under its belt, but the provider hasn't been afraid to spread its wings. Since opening last January, HomeCare has increased its roster of oxygen patients by about 66% and added a third location in Westwood, Mass.
"All of us have worked in the Boston area, and we knew it was a good market to get into," said President Scott Crowley of he and his two business partners, Dan Reale and Bob McIvor. "When you're a patient in or near a city, you're looking for smaller companies that can give a more personalized touch, because they're usually so dominated by big players."
Crowley started HomeCare after buying the HME division of the Claflin Co. He was president of the division for two years, helping it to grow from about 40 oxygen patients to about 250. HomeCare now has "well over" 375 oxygen patients, Crowley said.
Prior to Claflin, Crowley worked for Lincare from 1997 to 2002, running a few branches and helping the company to successfully break into the Rhode Island market. Although he extols the personal touch of smaller providers--HomeCare's technicians speak Spanish and Portuguese, for example--Crowley still holds on to some of the things he learned while working for the HME giant.
"When I joined Lincare, the retention levels at the branches I oversaw were really low," said Crowley. "I was able to find a way to keep a group together for four years. It's all about getting the right employees and keeping them happy."
From its two Rhode Island locations (here and Fall River) and the Westwood location it opened in December, HomeCare serves a good chunk of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although it carries some light DME, the provider focuses on oxygen and respiratory products. Its payer mix comprises both public and private payers.