Working smarter: Diversity, scale key to growth

Friday, August 23, 2013

With all the hardships the industry is currently facing, is it still worth investing in your HME company? Providers like Eric Hagen and Keith Jones say yes. 

“People are always going to need these products,” said Hagen, business development manager for Green Bay Home Medical in Green Bay, Wis. “I’m confident that with a good business model and the right people running the company, we’ll find a way to provide for our community.”

Green Bay Home Medical and Jones’ ABC Home Medical Supply each recently invested more than $1 million in their companies. 

Green Bay Home Medical plans to move into a former car dealership in October, a move that will bump up its showroom space from 10,000 to 30,000 square feet—more room to show off the provider’s retail products and to add new product lines. 

To maintain growth, it’s important to diversify, Hagen said, since counting on a certain product line may not pay off when working with Medicare. 

Jones, president of ABC Home Medical Supply, has renovated a new location for ABC Home Medical Supply in Exton, Pa. It’s the provider’s third new location in the past 18 months; the others are in Florida, Georgia and Texas. ABC offers urological, ostomy, incontinence and wound care supplies—none of which is included in competitive bidding.

That doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing, says Jones, whose business is one-quarter Medicare, one-third Medicaid and the rest private insurance.

“Even though we’re not in competitive bidding, the denial rate for these products is at an all-time high,” said Jones. 

To ensure growth, Jones concentrates on scale and retaining patients through solid customer service. 

“You have to run the right business, abide by the rules and offer great service,” he said.