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Top execs ‘control’ what they can 

Top execs ‘control’ what they can 

Top execs ‘control’ what they can 

DALLAS – A panel of top execs shared how they’re navigating the “chaos” in the HME industry right now, including the staffing shortages, Change Healthcare cyberattack, and Philips Respironics recall and exit, during the AAHomecare Update at Medtrade on March 27. 

Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, led John Cassar of SuperCare Health, Josh Marx of Medical Service Company, Ryan Bullock of Aeroflow and David Siegel of Nationwide Medical – all part of the association’s Executive Committee – in the discussion. 

Staffing shortages 

Because SuperCare is based in California, where staffing is not only scarce but also expensive, Cassar said the company’s strategy is not to have a large labor force in the state. It has increasingly looked out of state, as well as out of the country, to fill its needs for support services, he said. 

“Doing business in California is difficult,” he said. “We have respiratory therapists and customer service representatives outside of California, in Phoenix and in Las Vegas. We have 75 representatives today in the U.S. but not in California. We support all of our team members in California as best as we can, but we encourage those who want to live elsewhere.” 

Change Healthcare cyberattack 

Marx said the biggest lesson learned from the cyberattack was the “importance of being close to our partners,” particularly billing partners like Brightree, which he said did an “extraordinary job for us mobilizing and looking for a new clearinghouse.” 

“We realized quickly at our company that we weren’t going to be the change agent in billing claims,” he said. “The inflow of cash – we couldn’t control as much. We had to manage the outflow of cash. We have employees relying on us and responsibilities with rent that we have to maintain to keep the business open. It is as extraordinary a problem that we could experience in the industry, but hopefully it’s behind us and we won’t be talking about this next year.” 

Philips Respironics exit 

Siegel acknowledged that Nationwide Medical has been “burned” by the Philips Respironics CPAP recall and its decision to exit the vent and oxygen market in the United States. But he, like the other panelists, was impressed by the number of alternative manufacturers for those products on the show floor at Medtrade this year. 

“We’re looking at no longer using a single (manufacturer),” he said. “You don’t know when that next recall can happen. We’re trying to take (a more) diversified approach. We’re definitely looking at (having) three (manufacturer partners).” 


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