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O’Neal Medical ‘moves on’ from DME

O’Neal Medical ‘moves on’ from DME

Woody O'NealPELHAM, Ala. – The business of providing durable medical equipment is rapidly becoming one of diminishing returns, says Woody O’Neal, who recently announced plans to phase out that part of his business to focus on respiratory products. 

It’s a big switch for a company that once held competitive bidding contracts and had built up a “very large book of DME business,” says O’Neal, vice president of O’Neal Medical. 

“The outlook for traditional medical equipment is not encouraging under the current Medicare fee-for-service plan,” he said. “It's just too expensive to finance the stuff going forward and I don't see it improving in the short term, so we just made the decision to move on.” 

O’Neal Medical, with locations in Birmingham and Pelham, Ala., said it would stop filling DME orders for new patients after March 31, 2024, so it could focus on home oxygen and sleep therapy. 

The company has been building a new path for its respiratory business: In 2021, it launched CPAP Plus in Birmingham – right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The market is not shrinking,” said O’Neal. “I know there's been some discussion about whether the sleep market would shrink as a result of weight loss drugs and things of that nature, and I just don't see that kind of stuff impacting the radar as much as people might want it to.” 

O’Neal Medical, which will continue to service its existing DME patients, remains committed to serving the local community, says O’Neal. Plans are underway to open two new locations by the end of the year. 

“We make ourselves more a part of the community by having more locations within that community,” he said. “Birmingham is a very large city geographically and that's the approach that we've taken in bringing our levels of customer service to other areas of Birmingham.”


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