Providers buy carefully

Saturday, September 30, 2006

ATLANTA - Despite industry-wide belt-tightening, more than half of providers at this year's Medtrade show planned to spend more money than last year.
According to September's HME NewsPoll, 54% of providers were looking for bargains and new product lines to make money in the face of increased cuts.
"We will be very careful in deciding how to spend our money," said one provider. "We will probably spend it in sleep because of growth in that therapy."
According to the poll: 15% of providers planned to spend the most in sleep; respiratory, 23.6%; rehab, 11%; supplies, 5.6%; and DME, 44.4%.
Of those looking to buy, 58% planned to spend less than $20,000. Only 9.7% planned to spend over $60,000.
Sam Clay, president of Petersburg, Va.-based Clay Home Medical, said reimbursement cuts had him looking at new areas to spend on.
"We will probably spend less," said Clay. "We do, however, expect to spend more on cash sale-type goods as we are pushing that area."
The 36-month cap on oxygen influenced buying decisions for Paul Miller, national director of respiratory service for American Respiratory Associates in Fort Ashby, W.Va.
"With the continued uncertainty in our business, we will be looking for the most efficient yet least costly oxygen equipment," said Miller.
James Finch, president of Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Delfin Healthcare, looked to Medtrade to bolster his shrinking purchasing power.
"It has become necessary to reduce our inventory levels," said Finch. "We no longer buy in larger quantities. I use Medtrade to find new products and, hopefully, lower my purchase price."