The Sleep Store lifts off

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

CULLMAN, Ala. - Independent Medical Services debuted a new location last month dedicated solely to helping people get a good night sleep.

“We have found that sleep is not like doing oxygen,” said President Cary Nail. “These patients need continuous follow up: To drive mask and tubing sales you have to contact these people. This way we won’t have staff splitting their time between billing and CPAP follow up. They’ll be spending all their time on all aspects of sleep.”

CPAP and other products to treat sleep disordered breathing comprise only part of what The Sleep Store offers. To compete with furniture stores that have begun to sell Tempurpedic mattresses, The Sleep Store also will offer the therapeutic services. Other products include snoring pillows, facial masks, sound and aroma therapy.

To build its CPAP business, The Sleep Store will screen patients for sleep disordered breathing for family doctors. If a problem is detected, the doctor can order a full sleep test. By building relationships with family doctors and patients, Nail hopes to garner referral business.

With an estimated 15 million to 20 million people in the United States suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, Nail sees plenty of opportunity in sleep therapy. The potential for cash sales looks good, too, he said.

“With a little marketing, we no longer have a segment,” Nail said. “The nice thing about sleep is that is affects you from infancy through adulthood.”