Most of us entered the home respiratory industry because we wanted to serve patients. However, if you want to serve patients and especially oxygen patients, you have to make a reasonable profit for your employer or yourself. Frankly, you are not going to be employed very long and/or be in business unless you can. Here are six (6) actions you can do to serve your patients better and make a reasonable profit at the same time:
Reduce or eliminate routine oxygen deliveries by providing patients with lightweight “wearable” portable oxygen concentrators (POC). The combination of a POC and a stationary oxygen concentrator (SOC) can eliminate one or more routine oxygen deliveries per month at an average cost of $50.00 each. Imagine what an extra $50 or $100 (2x at $50 each) per patient would do for your bottom line!
If you have fewer or no routine oxygen deliveries, you can expand your service area. This can mean more oxygen patients and more revenue and profits. As you are no doubt aware, providers who are hundreds, even thousands of miles away are now serving patients in your service area. Now, you can bid on adjacent CBA as well as other opportunities to serve oxygen patients.
If you can make a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, you can make a website. Products like POCs and many other patient aids are sold by internet retailers. Add or open your own site, have patients e-mail or fax you their scripts and take down their credit card numbers over the phone. Then ship or have your supplier drop ship to the patient. Do the in-service on the telephone. You will be amazed and pleased with the amount of retail sales (and profits).
More and more non-Medicare patients are traveling and the rental of products like POCs is rapidly growing. Many POCs are approved by the FAA for air travel (oxygen tanks or cylinders are prohibited on aircraft). Just make sure the patient follows the specific airline's guidelines for battery duration (i.e., some airlines require the patient to have 50% more capacity in terms of hours than flight duration). Another opportunity to serve your patient better and make a reasonable profit.
Reduce the distance your delivery technicians have to drive by installing a combination of a portable oxygen and stationary oxygen concentrators (POC & SOC) with patients over 10 - 25 miles or more from your location. This is an excellent area to “beta” test or have a trial run of the concept. The investment won’t break the bank and often you can lease the entire package and recover your investment in a short period.
If you’re paying more than $0.60 per filled cylinder including delivery and haz-mat charges, you should consider doing your own filling. Modern filling systems including FDA and accreditation requirements have made it easier, less costly, and more convenient than ever. You can often lease the entire system including installation and training for less than what you’re paying now to an outside supplier. Plus, you can fill for your competition as well as other local customers outside of home healthcare such as ambulance companies, nursing homes, and alike.
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