Graymark dips virtual toe into online market

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - There's a new player in the online CPAP market, but it's backed by a familiar name.

Graymark Healthcare this month launched an e-commerce venture,

"There are people in the marketplace today that require CPAP, but they don't need to see a physician," said Timothy Lebens, vice president for marketing. "They are looking to acquire their treatment at a lower price point."

Graymark is certainly no stranger to the sleep market. The company operates 28 sleep labs in 11 states. Last year the provider performed 30,000 sleep studies.

Expanding beyond the sleep lab walls is a natural fit, said Lebens.

"The beautiful thing about Graymark is that we offer a comprehensive model where we can do diagnoses upfront, and then move the patient through and provide treatment in our clinics," he said. "That's a strong point of differentiation for us going into the (online) market."

While the typical online consumer of CPAP products has been on the therapy for a few years and is very comfortable with it, consumers who need help can get it, said Lebens.

"When the patient calls the 800-number and has a question, they can be connected to a respiratory therapist and have a one-on-one conversation," he said. "We don't believe a lot of our competitors do that. They use customer service reps who may understand the product but may not understand the disease state." was developed with patient feedback to create an easy-to-use site--if shopping is a hassle, patients won't do it, said Lebens. The company carries CPAPs, masks and accessories from a variety of manufacturers. It offers free shipping on orders over $100 and has a supply reminder program.

"Most people want to know that they are getting a good price and they're being treated well, but they don't have to feel like they're signing up for constant spam and promotions," he said. "That's not what true care is about. Patient care is providing better sleep for people so they can enjoy a better quality of life. That's our belief."