Vents: Prepare to dive in

Friday, December 28, 2012

Some providers of home oxygen therapy are looking at vents as a good way to extend their clinical expertise into another market. The MED Group has made it easier for these providers to get business by putting together a suppliers network for vents that case managers can use to find qualified providers. Here’s what Kelly Riley, director of MED’s National Respiratory Network, and Wayne Grau, MED’s vice president of contracting and business services, had to say about the promise of this market.

HME News: What are some of the opportunities in the vents market? 

Kelly Riley: There are opportunities to enter into a market that will certainly “set the HME apart” from their competitors. Based on feedback from case managers across the country, it can be a challenge to find providers with that specialized skill set. You can bet their company will stand out.

HME: Why is this market a good fit for providers of home oxygen therapy?

Wayne Grau: The ventilator market has changed a great deal, but the clinical and service aspect has not—this is not a product category that providers dip their toes in. We are seeing more of the MED membership look to other product lines that are not part of competitive 

bidding and this is one of those categories.

HME: What are some of the characteristics of a quality provider of vents?

Riley: They must have clinicians that are analytical and critical thinkers. The clinician must also have proven excellence in patient assessment skills, as well as honed communication skills. The ownership must also realize that it takes a dedication to building an exceptional communication pathway to ensure an adequate bridge to transition these patients from hospital to home. It is much more than an “intake sheet.”

HME: Is there a need for providers to enter the vents market?

Grau: There is a small percentage of providers that provide these products. Case managers are tired of having to call multiple providers to find a qualified provider.

HME: How many MED members currently provide vents?

Riley: Currently, 40% of all members provide some level of ventilation services. Again, the number is likely increasing due to the skill set already held by members.