Reporter’s notebook: Mercy Home Care: The last one-stop shop?

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Friday, September 22, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Provider Jonathan Greenstein may be one of the last of a dying breed: an independently owned HME that offers the gamut of home medical equipment and supplies.

“We are one of the last of the one-stop shops,” said Greenstein, CEO of Mercy Home Care and Medical Supply. “There are very few things we don’t do, except for advanced respiratory.”

Greenstein founded the company in 1994. Mercy Home Care specializes in advanced wound care and medical disposables. Other

product offerings include oxygen, walkers, wheelchairs, commodes and Bi-pap machines.

Despite low reimbursement from Medicaid and other payers for disposables, the company tries to do right by its patients, says Greenstein.

“It becomes financially challenging—we try to do our best within the confines of their insurance,” he said. “Most of these are very low value, low markup, but there’s volume.”

To stay viable, providers need to constantly look for new avenues of revenue. Mercy Home Care, for example, has an online retail presence, including on Amazon.

“I think Amazon is going to take over the world,” said Greenstein. “Before this, I worked for another DME. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years—some for the best, some for the worst. The traditional model no longer works.”

Mercy Home Care also does a lot of business providing DME to hospice patients, which he likens to the “Dominos Pizza of DME” due to the urgent nature of getting equipment to those patients.

“I like hospice because we are truly helping a person in the last stages of their life,” said Greenstein. “(Helping people) is why I got into this business, having been an EMT earlier in life.”

Despite the challenges of today’s HME environment, Greenstein is content where he is. He’s had offers from national providers but prefers to remain a “free thinker.”

“If a patient needs a certain product that may not be covered, we always want to do the right thing,” he said. “It’s just becoming very difficult to do so without losing money.”