Wednesday, June 30, 2004

PITTSBURGH - MedSage Technologies, a technology company that sells patient management systems to HME companies, is rolling out a software product that tracks a sleep apnea patient’s progress and supply needs.

On a regular basis, MedSage’s software dials the home of an HME patient and, using the prerecorded voice of the supplier, asks questions about compliance and supply needs.

The CPAP product is MedSage’s second patient management system after a respiratory medication tracking system that has already won eight to 12 HME customers.

The company’s president, Bill Kaigler, said that more than 80% of the end-users who answer a call from the pre-recorded voice reply to the software’s questions.

“They’re not just not hanging up,” said Kaigler. “They are answering questions and ordering meds through the system.”

Replenishment, say boosters, is one of the great untapped reoccurring revenue streams. Medicare, for example, pays $750 per year for a new CPAP mask every quarter, new tubes, new filters and new headgear.

But 95% of the HME suppliers Marcus Kruk and his sales team at HME Services, another replenishment specialist, have contacted over the past year are not set up to recontact patients on a regular basis.

“If that dealer has 1,000 [CPAP] patients, once you have deducted the cost of goods and my charge, and also the shipping charge, they’ve left $356,000 on the table [if they’re not contacting the patient],” said Kruk.

In the past year, HME Services has begun working with 32 different companies and 6,000 patients. Most of the company’s 338 employees work out of the call center, dialing patients on a regular basis.