Changing Oxygen Delivery Methods Equal Profit Potential for DMEs
Jason Flanigan, Applied Home HealthCare’s national accounts manager, has seen the future and it is loaded with high profit potential for DME’s and HME’s that ride the wave of change taking place in oxygen delivery methods. “The way to survive the future with oxygen is to get as many of your patients off cylinder delivery as you can,” says Jason. “The market is changing in favor of POCs because POCs are what patients want and POC’s such as OxyGo® make so much more economic sense in today’s competitive and regulatory environment.”
Looking at it from voice of the doctor and the patient, Jason points out that availability and quality is the key. Medicare reimbursement numbers show a clear growing trend toward the use of POC’s. Doctors want to know that the DME they recommend can take care of their oxygen recommendations and carry the POC products their patients need and the brands they request. Patients are demanding high quality products because they are seeing their co-pays rise and DME’s are making more cash sales because of insurance changes.
Jason sees a large opportunity for DME’s to grow their business right now by taking advantage for the top requested POCs, selling them for cash, and using the top quality models to phase in a non-delivery plan. This can be done, Jason says, by putting POC’s on heavy oxygen tank users at first. Then DME’s should offer POCs exclusively in an extended range beyond their normal DME service area. The result should be an increase in business for the DME and also greater referrals from doctors. DME’s should carry OxyGo POCs because OxyGo is the most requested brand, Jason said. “Making one oxygen delivery a year with a POC as opposed to the tank system of making one a month, or maybe several a month, is a huge profit saver and generator,” Jason said.
As Medicare cuts continue, Jason sees adopting the POC model of oxygen delivery as a matter of economic survival for DME’s. “DME’s need to watch what is going on in the market and change with the market as it changes,” he said. He points out that OxyGo reps sometimes are able to refer virtually completed sales directly to DME’s handling the OxyGo line. “We had one rep who handed a completed sale, including pricing, directly to a DME. It put cash right in the DME’s pocket,” said Jason. OxyGo makes every effort to steer business to its DME customers. The OxyGo corporate office often gets many calls a month from potential customers and always refers such requests to the closest DME carrying OxyGo to that customer. “We don’t sell direct and always protect our DME customers,” said Jason.