Navigating the New World of HME
If customers and referral sources ever wonder what New Berlin, Wis.-based Home Care Medical is all about, all they have to do is check the company’s website.
“Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of those we serve,” the company proclaims at the top of the home page.“Our values are respect, integrity, dependability and excellence,” reads the banner on another page.
That mission and those values have been the guiding forces since 1974, when Home Care Medical began providing home medical equipment to residents of southeastern Wisconsin. And even if the industry has changed radically from the early days when 50-pound concentrators were the norm and elephant-trunk CPAPs were yet to come, the mission and the values have remained.
Indeed, they have been the true north as Home Care Medical has adroitly adapted to the scary new world of HME.
“We have looked at our core competencies, and our core competencies are not delivering product in a truck or submitting a clean claim,” said John Teevan, president of Home Care Medical. “They are about giving great care to people on a 24/7 basis, simply fulfilling our mission and vision statements.”
That philosophy has underscored Home Care Medical’s growth from a family-run company focused on durable medical equipment and respiratory to a full-line HME provider that employs about 180 people serving residents in 15 counties. It has a large corporate location in suburban Milwaukee, two retail locations, four PAP-fitting locations and 125 consignment closets. It is the contracted preferred provider for three of the area’s five health care systems, two of which have a minority ownership in the company, and it has staff in four hospitals.
“It’s been a good, long 38-year history coming up in May,” Teevan said.
So how did Home Care Medical get to this place and where does it go from here?
Foreseeing the future
Teevan started in the business as a high-school student lugging 50-pound concentrators into customers’ homes. He didn’t need a crystal ball to tell him several years ago that the HME world was on the cusp of radical change.
During his career, he’s worked to stay on top of industry issues by staying active in the Wisconsin Association of Medical Equipment Services, the MED Group and the American Association for Homecare. He gets together on a regular basis with HME veterans to talk shop and strategies.
“One of the things we knew was that competitive bidding was going to be here,” he said. “It was not a matter of if; it was clearly a when issue. We took some pretty dramatic action.”
Teevan and his team put together a strategic plan that continues to operate today.
“We reorganized the internal structure into four teams, each with a vice president, (for) a higher degree of creativity and accountability. The four teams are pushed close enough together so as not to exist as four silos, but as one whole,” Teevan said.
For example, the four teams are demand, supply, clinical and support. On a spreadsheet, they would be vertical columns, he explained. Horizontal columns would be quality assurance, performance assurance, business development and accreditation, and they would touch every team.