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MRS Homecare turns 40

MRS Homecare turns 40 Provider serves rural population with ‘a little of everything to everyone’

TIFTON, Ga. - Tyler Riddle may not remember what the HME industry was like 40 years ago, but he was there.

“I was an infant,” said Riddle, CEO of MRS Homecare. “I have some fun pictures of me in a bedside commode in the early 80s that my dad put me in to keep me immobile.”

Founded in 1980, MRS Homecare offers a full range of DME, including oxygen, CPAP, incontinence, nebulizers, aids to daily living, manual and power wheelchairs, and complex rehab.

Its 11 locations in Georgia service more than 40 counties.

“Our business model, because of our rural nature, is a one-stop shop,” said Riddle. “A place like Fitzgerald, Ga., with a population of 10,000 people, cannot support a mobility provider, a separate respiratory provider and a CVS, so we've been very successful in providing a little of everything to everyone.”

MRS Homecare is also one of the few providers left that still accepts Medicare, which accounts for 35% of its billing.

“Because we're in heavily rural areas we've made the decision to continue with Medicare because that's the primary insurer of the population,” said Riddle. “It's not as profitable as it used to be.”

While Riddle, who joined the family business in 2007, doesn't remember the days of the “golden commode”—and doesn't want to—he's been in the game long enough to see it evolve.

“The reality is that there are half as many players in the game as there were even back in 2007,” he said. “We're certainly seeing those closures affecting the amount of volume we're doing.”

And while more business is good business, that volume can have some drawbacks, including an increase in indigent care, travel costs and
imperfect claims.

“It's a double-edged sword,” said Riddle.


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