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Owens & Minor ‘tries to stand out’ in more crowded supplies market 

Owens & Minor ‘tries to stand out’ in more crowded supplies market 

Perry BernocchiRICHMOND, Va. – Perry Bernocchi has taken over Patient Direct at Owens & Minor and has plans to further position the segment as a growth platform by leaning into macro tailwinds, the latest technology and ancillary products. 

“My focus is on understanding the unique challenges that patients have after they’ve left the hospital, finding innovative ways to empower people to continue their health journey and maintain or improve their quality of life from the comfort of their own home,” said Bernocchi, who has served as executive vice president and CEO of Patient Direct since March 2023, replacing Dan Starck

Previously, Bernocchi was CEO of Byram Healthcare, which Owens & Minor acquired in 2017

HME News: The Patient Direct segment has been referred to as the “growth engine” of Owens & Minor. What is driving that success? 

Perry Bernocchi: We’re in a very large and growing market, and customers have many options, so we do all we can every day to try to stand out. The success of Patient Direct stems from the fact that the patient need for care outside of the hospital environment is so great. At a macro level, shifts in the health care system, such as an aging U.S. population and the increasing volume of patients living with chronic diseases, are changing where care is provided. From an Owens & Minor perspective, we’ve focused on building it as a growth platform, as demonstrated by the acquisition of Apria in early 2022.  

HME: How is the company planning to scale Patient Direct even further and what role will technology play? 

Bernocchi: We always work to ensure best-in-class digital service and technology capabilities. I see technology playing a crucial role in enabling us to improve our services, increase consumer satisfaction, reduce our cost to serve and streamline operations, and reach a larger patient base. 

HME: Patient Direct’s core categories are sleep, home respiratory, diabetes, ostomy, urology and wound care. Are there plans to add additional product categories in the future?  

Bernocchi: Those categories are very large markets with attractive growth prospects and will continue to generate strong performance for the company. We are open to the possibility of acquisitions that would accelerate our growth, allow us to gain scale that would allow us to provide a high-quality, more efficient model that results in a better and longer customer relationship at attractive economics for the company. 

HME: With regard to diabetes, it’s been an exciting growth period in that market. Do you see that continuing, particularly with the buzz around CGMs? 

Bernocchi: CGMs have changed so many lives, and our goal is to help make them as accessible as possible for people who need them. However, for Owens & Minor, helping people with a chronic condition like diabetes is about so much more than just the devices themselves. A CGM alone is not a guarantee of success when it comes to long-term compliance and adherence. That’s why we provide clinical and educational support, as well as assistance navigating a patient’s health insurance—to help maximize the patient’s ability to maintain their own health long-term. 

HME: Patient Direct is also bullish on sleep. How does the company see that line of business evolving?  

Bernocchi: Like diabetes, the sleep space has seen an incredible amount of attention and innovation over the past decade. It’s definitely an exciting time in the marketplace. And like diabetes, sleep is a complex issue where we see patients needing more support than just pharmaceutical interventions. Our sleep business provides solutions for patients at every step of their sleep therapy journey. For example, we offer sleep coaches that are available 24/7 to answer questions and offer support to patients. We’ve found that coaching and behavior modification support are important wraparound services for people dealing with chronic sleep problems. 


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