Provider sweet on West Coast diabetes market

Friday, June 30, 2006

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Advanced Diabetes Supply acquired Ideal Diabetes Services in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., in April, nearly doubling its patient base to 6,000 and expanding its West Coast presence.
The four-year-old mail order pharmacy has enjoyed rapid growth, said company President Tim Cady.
"There are a lot of people with diabetes in a lot of different places," said Cady. "The pool of patients is not shrinking."
Advanced carries a complete line of diabetes products, including insulin, meters, pump supplies and specialty items like syringe magnifiers. They provide shoes in their local market, with a certified pedorthist who makes in-home foot assessments. The company also does some respiratory medications and arthritis products.
"If someone calls us looking for some unique diabetes device we don't handle, we can tell them where to get it," said Cady. "We want to be a one-stop shop for people with diabetes."
Customers can enroll with the company and browse products online. At some point, Advanced plans to include a shopping cart feature and add new products such as nutritionals, said Cady. Customer service reps call customers before their supplies are scheduled to run out to see if they need to reorder.
Cady declined to give specifics but said Advanced bills private insurance, Medicare and is an active supplier to Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) patients.
"Medi-Cal is a great thing for us," said Cady. "We're a pharmacy, so that allows us to provide diabetes supplies and DME."
Cady and his partner, CEO Mark Howard, have extensive backgrounds in diabetes product manufacturing, which Cady says gives them an edge in understanding their customers' needs.
"We want to develop a personal relationship with the patients so we can help them better manage their diabetes," said Cady. "We spend more time talking with patients and can educate them. The biggest thing with diabetes is just getting education."