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What adds value? Katherine Royster has ideas

What adds value? Katherine Royster has ideas

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Katherine Royster, 3B Medical’s new vice president of sales and marketing, always has cost top of mind from her years working on the provider side of the HME industry.

“I’m always framing things in terms of what something costs the HME provider,” said Royster, who previously worked for Classic SleepCare in California, now part of AdaptHealth. “I always have that questioning voice, ‘Does it add value?’ Sometimes manufacturers are just thinking about how it makes sense for them or how it’s a great engineering feature, without it having much impact on providers.”

Here’s what Royster had to say about new technology and trends in the sleep and oxygen markets.

HME News: What’s an example of how manufacturers have to balance the wow factor of new technology with the realities of day-to-day business?

Katherine Royster: Connected devices are a good example. It’s great if you have Wi-Fi, but what if a provider and their customer is in a rural area – how do we design a device that also meets the need of that provider and that customer? If we’re going to drive up the cost of a device, it has to make sense.

HME: What trends are on 3B’s radar?

Royster: Two come to mind. Providers are telling us they’re more focused on CPAP resupply, so we’re looking at companies to partner with that have AI technology for improving remote mask fittings. We think it’s one of those things that will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Why would a patient who can get a good mask fit remotely bother to go into a DME location and get fit by an RT, if it works as well? We’re watching that closely.

Second, it’s been growing, but we still think there’s a lot of growth left on the retail side of the industry. Our disinfection line, including our recently launched Lumin Wand, is a 100% cash-based opportunity for providers. With the pandemic, it’s a great time to get in that space – and getting products from a well-established medical device company offers providers the credibility they’re looking for.

HME: 3B also recently launched its Aer X portable oxygen concentrator, putting it officially in the oxygen, as well as sleep, market.

Royster: We were already going to companies for sleep – they know our name and our products, and they know they can get quality products with prices that are attractive to shrinking reimbursement. It seemed like an easy transition, with sleep and oxygen going hand in hand, to become more of an HME manufacturer, not just a sleep manufacturer. Most DME companies aren’t pureplay sleep, so it also helps them streamline the number of manufacturers they’re buying from. It concentrates their spending.


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