Respiratory Success in 2016

Respiratory experts offers some strategic suggestions that every respiratory provider should consider.

Joe Lewarski, vice president of global respiratory & sleep for Drive-DeVilbiss Healthcare offers some strategic suggestions that every respiratory provider should consider to build their businesses in 2016:

Know your market metrics. In nearly every market, there are a finite number of respiratory patients in need of homecare services each day. Knowing that number by product category provides you insights into your market share position and what opportunity exists without expanding your geographic market. How many O2 patients are prescribed each day? CPAP, aerosol, ventilator, etc.? Different strategies and tactics are needed to move more market share in your direction versus expanding into new markets, making acquisitions, etc.

Know your cost to serve. Our industry has been plagued with home grown and local market behaviors and activities that often add cost but not value. What is your cost to provide home O2, PAP therapy, etc. What are the operational activities that bloat your systems, create complexity and ultimately add cost without adding true value? Eliminate waste in your workflow — getting lean is essential. In oxygen therapy, for example, the elimination of all of the non-value-added activities associated with portable delivery by using non-delivery oxygen technology in place of people. This lets you shift resources to value-added activities.

Develop strategic relationships. As noted earlier, in this complex and competitive market, it is essential to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Outside of healthcare, this is standard operating procedure, as the best-in-class organizations have open and strategic relationships with all levels of their supply chains. Companies, such as Toyota, GE and Danaher, have long developed open relationships with their business partners to drive quality, efficiency and cost benefits. Modeling these methods can help develop the infrastructure and processes needed in this highly regulated, competitive and shrinking margin industry.

Market yourself. There is a direct-to-consumer, cash-paying customer base out there if you can reach them. Whether traditional retail or ecommerce, there is a growing population of people who are purchasing respiratory and home medical equipment and supplies. The buyer is not always the patient, so marketing and advertising has to be appropriate and effective.

Dave Marquard, owner and CEO of OxyGo LLC and Applied Home Healthcare Equipment LLC, adds these quick tips:

  • Establish non-delivery systems for oxygen.
  • Increase your service area with a non-delivery model.
  • Set group appointments for patients
  • Develop less dependence on Medicare.
  • Increase cash sales through websites and retail selling.

This article originally appeared in the Respiratory Management October 2015 issue of HME Business.

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