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Aeratech Medical prioritizes RTs

Aeratech Medical prioritizes RTs

MEDINA, Ohio - Aeratech Medical, the first place winner in this year's HME Excellence Awards, backs up its tag line “We are Respiratory” by putting its money where it matters—in respiratory therapy.

CEO Roy Neely is an RT. Director of clinical services Erin Fowler is an RT. So is Terry McAtee, medical compliance officer. In all, there are 18 RTs on staff.

“We are a company made up of therapists—90% of our staff are therapists,” Neely says proudly.

It's not just Aeratech's commitment to clinical quality that vaulted the company to the pinnacle of HME Excellence, however; the HME News judging panel cited Aeratech's “healthy” financials as the key to its prominent place on the awards podium.

Neely is quick to point out that there is no magic formula to profitability for the company—it's just a matter of explanation.

“We have tight control over everything,” he said. “Our RTs are on the front line working with our patients and they know the cost of good care. All we do is set the costs for them.”

At the heart of the financial model, McAtee said, is “communicating with staff about what it costs to provide the care...they are already keenly aware of reimbursement rates for the items we provide.”

Specializing in pediatric respiratory care, Aeratech provides ventilator services for young patients with various breathing disorders. While some may conclude that this business segment represents a narrow niche for the company, Neely explains that there is much more to it than meets the eye.

“Pediatric ventilators is not a narrow spectrum—we work with a lot of hospitals and they all want something different,” he said. 

Aeratech began the transition to its current business model in 2015, moving away from a traditional respiratory therapy operation. As customer service staff members left via attrition, the company hired licensed and credentialed professionals to fill those vacancies.

“We expanded their roles to include more time on tasks such as CMN acquisition, obtaining prior authorizations and direct involvement in additional billing issues as they relate to each individual therapist's patient base,” McAtee said. “As a result, we have a stronger relationship with our patients, caregivers, payer sources and our referral base because the therapists are involved in all aspects of care and services being provided. The referring physicians and discharge planners have developed stronger relationships with our staff, as well.”

Success for Aeratech, Neely said, rests with its staff of RTs, who are entitled to profit sharing when the company charts in the black. So far, so good, he said.

“What we try to accomplish is make our therapists excited about home care and excited about HME,” Neely said. “When we profit, so do they.”


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