Missy Cross is a veteran in Ohio’s homecare industry who is paying close attention to recent CMS oxygen reimbursement cuts that can be as high as 16 percent. CMS announced the cuts on March 15, 2016.
Missy estimates she is mitigating these cuts by saving 38 percent or more on her oxygen costs by adopting the OxyGo® Non-delivery business model. OxyGo is a marketer of portable oxygen concentrators based in Cleveland, OH.
For twenty-one years Missy has overseen DME equipment for OE Meyer, a Sandusky, OH based HME with five store locations. “The difference between using POC’s and cylinders is labor,” said Missy, while reflecting on the growing POC use trend that allows HME’s to offset cuts and improve profitability with every new patient, patients that are distant or patients that use lots of tanks.
“There is no labor on the back end,” Missy continued. “The trickle-down cost savings from patients using POC’s is substantial. The average oxygen tank delivery probably costs me about $50. So if I can schedule just one delivery rather than four in a month with fifty people, the savings is huge.”
“There are so many benefits. POC’s not only cut our delivery costs, they have an impact on our business going forward. As our business grows, we don’t have to hire new drivers as frequently and that’s all part of the 38 percent or more of savings they afford us,” she said.
OE Meyer is a significant player in the Northeast Ohio homecare equipment market. Nine delivery trucks operate out of its five store locations, delivering oxygen to patients as far as 70 miles east and west of Sandusky.
Sixty percent of OE Meyer’s business is rural vs. city. All 9 trucks are on the road everyday and are mainly what Missy calls ‘box trucks’.
Missy notes that she has seen POC reliability increase dramatically over the past few years and that she does not get calls from patients related to battery or POC performance problems. She says POC suppliers today have done a very good job of simplifying their use so that patients find them easy to work with.
Missy also notes that POC’s are being asked for more and more by patients who see their portability advertised on TV. She has noticed that many of her patients are being diagnosed earlier than ever before. This means many of them are younger and living a more active life style. They crave the mobility and freedom POC’s provide. POC’s are airline approved for air travel far more than tanks, even from a home fill system. All compressed gas cylinders are prohibited for use on onboard commercial aircraft.
Jon Schultz, sales director for OxyGo, points out that the POC’s he markets never run out of oxygen because patients can use and charge their units at home, in their car or anywhere there is a 100 to 240 VAC outlet or 12 VDC outlet in a car.
“Putting patients on a POC is win-win,” said Missy. She linked the advantages of using POC’s to an improved quality of life for the patient and more productive cost efficiencies for the HME. “Patients find them easy to work with and enjoy a higher quality of life with the mobility they offer. They also help us eliminate so many overhead costs that just don’t show up to most cost accountants, but they are there,” Missy concluded.
Schultz points out these would include costs such as no haz-mat risks, training, placarding and the fact that delivery of a POC to a patient can be accomplished in a car or van.
More information can be found at www.oxygo.life or by calling 888-599-8319.