Sleep provider adds oxygen

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Call her crazy, but CPAP provider Shawn Schober recently added oxygen to her services.

"We were getting some orders where the doctors were prescribing oxygen with CPAP," said Schober, owner of Schober CPAP and Supplies. "We were having to send the oxygen to someone else and we thought, 'Is that really the right thing to do?'"

So, in June, the provider bit the bullet, despite dwindling reimbursement and the 36-month cap on oxygen. For now, Schober only provides oxygen for patients who need it in conjunction with CPAP or bi-level therapy or who simply can't tolerate the machines and need oxygen overnight.

Eventually, said Schober, if patients need oxygen "24/7" they will do it.

"To me, (continuity of care) is very important, especially with some of your older patients," she said. "They are leery about having a lot of people in and out of the home."

The young company--Schober and her husband opened Schober CPAP and Supplies in 2009--is enjoying steady growth. It recently moved into a larger, more convenient location and hired a part-time marketer.

"The business has grown to the point where it was difficult for me to get out and market it," said Schober.

While Schober remains committed to the sleep market, ultimately, she is there to help people.

"You may think we are crazy for adding oxygen, but there are so many people out there needing it," she said.