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Providers feel squeezed in wake of Philips exit

Providers feel squeezed in wake of Philips exit

YARMOUTH, Maine – Even after enduring the roller-coaster of doing business with Philips Respironics the past few years, providers were still shocked by the company’s recent announcement that it would stop selling certain respiratory products. 

Philips on Jan. 25 announced that it would discontinue selling 19 products in the U.S., including items subject to a recall, like the Trilogy 100/200/202 portable home ventilators. The company will service many of the products until Jan. 25, 2029. 

“Even after the recall and then the second recall and the problems they’ve had with remediation, it was still shocking to hear they are not going to produce vents,” said Roxanne Vennard, president of Ascent Respiratory Care in Englewood, Colo., who has used the company’s ventilators for more than 30 years. “(It’s shocking) we won’t have that very strong brand name anymore.” 

Also on the list of discontinued products: cough assist devices, the EverFlo home oxygen system and the Simply Go and Simply Go Mini portable oxygen concentrators. 

With the memory of product shortages caused by the recall and supply chain challenges still fresh in their minds, providers worry about the impact of the exit on the market. 

“Concentrators will be harder to come by, I am sure, with POCs included in that mix,” said Brian Wilson, COO of Commonwealth Home Health Care in Danville, Va. “A lot of folks use their ventilators, as well, so it is going to get tight in that arena yet again.” 

Philips isn’t completely exiting the HME market in the U.S. The company says it plans to focus on consumables, including CPAP masks, and plans to return to the CPAP device market, once it meets the requirements of a consent decree. That may be a case of too little, too late, say providers, who are ready to move on. 

“We have already replaced the cough assist devices and oxygen devices,” said Lee Guay, respiratory director at Fairview Home Medical Equipment in St. Paul, Minn. “We are also scaling back our use of Respironics masks, as well. Having no notice of these changes has caused us to lose trust in Respironics as our vendor.” 

Guay is also looking to replace Respironics vents, which make up about 50% of his current fleet. 

“We have been lucky that we were well stocked with equipment, so patients were not affected,” he said. “When the Trilogy units are no longer supported, there will be a significant cost to replace them.”  

Fortunately for providers, there are several other manufacturers that offer ventilators, including ResMed, Movair and React Health. Providers say these companies have their work cut out for them to win their business. 

“ResMed in my eyes is not a good avenue – it’s price prohibitive and when my manager logged on, we can’t even buy them,” said Robyn Parrott, president of Troy, Mich.-based Sleep Solutions Home Medical. “We do have other options. React Health has a ventilator and we’ve already been doing more business with them.”


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