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OxyMed finds winning formula

OxyMed finds winning formula

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When provider Jonathan Temple lost 45% of his business after not winning contracts in the original Round 2 of competitive bidding, he knew it was time to regroup.

“We got proactive and put a plan in place,” said the owner of OxyMed, which also has a location in Rainsville that still accepts traditional Medicare. “We researched how many people are buying CPAP supplies off the Internet and focused in on retail.”

Since opening in 2010, OxyMed, which focuses on sleep and respiratory, has doubled its size and added a second location in Rainsville.

Using Verizon mobile phone stores as a model, OxyMed created a retail showroom to showcase CPAP machines, masks and supplies, and oxygen equipment. Products are grouped by manufacturer and allow patients to “feel, touch and try on” what they could only see on the Internet, says Temple.

“From day one, it worked,” he said. “People say, 'I never knew there were this many masks,'” or they were sent to another company and not given any choice and if the mask didn't work, they were out of luck.”

Of course, there's always going to be people who visit the showroom and order off the Internet, anyway, says Temple. He just strives to offer customer-friendly service and policies, like a mask assurance fit guarantee that allows customers to swap their first mask within 15 days if it doesn't work for them.

“We had heard lots of complaints that people had masks they'd paid cash for online and there was no return policy,” said Temple.

Another service: CPAP repair. OxyMed is a certified repair center.

As part of its efforts to diversify away from Medicare, the provider has also increased the number of commercial insurances it accepts, says Temple. But, like Medicare, HMOs and other payers are cutting reimbursement, requiring the provider to take a hard look at how it operates.

“Today, we are better, we are more organized, leaner, meaner and more efficient,” said Temple. “We use the latest technology and anything we can to find to do things better without losing sight of the most important thing we have: relationships.”


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