Live blogging from HME Business Summit: How do you measure up?


Publisher Rick Rector just gave a shout out to this year's sponsors: Invacare, Philips Respironics, Dream Software, First Quality, Fastrack, QS/1, Brightree, Permobil, CPR+ and Medtrade.

First presentation: "How do you measure up? The 4th Annual HME News/SRA Financial Benchmark Study"

192 respondents took the survey, 69% were DME providers.

Rick Glass of Steven Richards & Associates on the majority of providers, 56%, having only one location: "They're having to service them from a single location, pulling back from two or three."

Glass on 39.8% of respondents saying their revenues declined in 2009: "(Because of) the January 2009 cuts, it's not surprising to see the impact of that here. Are you cutting costs back far enough? At some point, you can't just cut costs. You have to find a way to grow revenues."

Fastest growing product line? The award goes to sleep.

More respondents say their DSO has gone over 90 days. Glass says: "The ZPIC audits is a common thing I'm hearing. Also, as you shift from Medicare to private insurance, they can be slower payers."

Traditional lines of financing appear to be drying up. 34% of respondents say they use bank lines of credit, down from 48% in 2008.

Glass says a good EBITDA today: 20% to 25%.

Average oxygen setups per marketing rep: 15 in 2009, up from 12 in 2008. Glass says: "20 is where you have to be to keep the doors open."

Membership in AAHomecare and state associations is off. 29% of respondents are members of AAH, down from 35% in 2008. Glass says it's a "disturbing trend."

What's next? 22% of respondents say they reduced their dependence on Medicare in 2009, way up from 6% in 2008. 21% say they grew cash sales in 2009, up from 13% in 2008.

Glass on M&A market: "It's much more driven by sellers. They bigger buyers, they're more content to sit on what they've got."

Up next: "Buckle your seat belts: Professor Van Horn and the future of Medicare."