Wright & Filippis marks 70 years with new plan

Friday, May 23, 2014

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Located in the heart of automobile country, it’s hardly surprising that provider A.J. Filippis sees parallels between what’s happened in that industry and in HME.

“Consolidation is hitting health care full force,” said Filippis, CEO of Wright & Filippis, the company his father started in 1944. “It happened in the auto industry 15 years ago. My opinion is that in five years, less than half the providers that are here today will be around.”

The provider even has a few former auto execs on its management team, including Bob DeWolf, who was named president in January. 

“His past experience will help us look at our processes and how we can improve them,” said Filippis. 

Process improvement is a must for Wright & Filippis, which accepted several competitive bidding contracts for CPAP, respiratory equipment and walkers in Round 2.

“When you take a 40% reduction, you’ve got to do something,” he said.

Wright & Filippis, which marked its 70th anniversary in April, has 32 locations in Michigan, and is one of the largest privately held orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) providers in the country. The provider has undertaken some strategic planning in the past year to refocus where it wants to spend its resources and grow, says Filippis. To that end, it recently beefed up its management team, naming Steve Filippis, former vice president of facility operations, as vice president of mergers and acquisitions. 

“We still see opportunity in Michigan but you also get to a saturation point,” said Filippis. “We see a lot of opportunities in the Carolinas and other areas on the East Coast.”

Wright & Filippis’ first out-of-state buy was the North Charleston, S.C.-based Carolina Orthotics & Prosthetics.

The provider also cast a laser eye on its product offerings. It sold its diabetes supplies division in 2013, preferring to re-energize complex rehab and accessibility.

“It’s outside of competitive bidding and there’s a real need for (these services),” said Filippis. “O&P is heavily clinical and so is rehab. We see that as tying right in.”