Growth spurt at Repair Authority

‘It’s an animal they don’t want to fight’
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Friday, April 24, 2020

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Repair Authority is building a business in direct-to-patient repairs for respiratory equipment, helping HME providers better serve customers who own their equipment.

CEO Jesse Keirn says about 20% of Repair Authority’s business is now direct-to-patient repairs, compared to 0% just two years ago.

“These patients will go to dealers and say, ‘Help me,’ and it puts the dealer in a challenging position,” he said. “They may not be in the repair business, but they don’t want to send that patient away. Dealers have been a great referral source for us, and it provides a win for them and the patient.”

Keirn and two business partners—Dan Meyer, chief revenue officer, and Jason Ziebro, COO—bought TRC about four years ago and renamed it Repair Authority. The company was formed in 1990 and was a sister company to Roscoe Medical, now part of Compass Health Brands.  

Repair Authority has been piloting more formal referral relationships with providers, including some where providers hang signage from the company in their locations.

“But we have other providers who just send them our way by word of mouth,” Keirn said. “We’re finding success with both models. We really let the dealer drive what they’re comfortable with.”

While direct-to-patient repairs is a growth target for the company, Repair Authority still generates 80% of its business from providers. It runs pickup and delivery routes in seven states (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York) using a fleet of six trucks. The company also repairs equipment that has been shipped to its location in Strongsville, Ohio.

“There have been a lot of developments in repairs from a software and integration perspective, which is important and good, but, ultimately, someone has to have their hands on the equipment and that can get lost in the discussion,” Keirn said of his 34 technicians. “Our dealers know that when one of our units comes back to them it’s patient ready and ready to put back in the field.”

Repair Authority is well positioned in an HME industry that is increasingly outsourcing repairs, Keirn says, and the company is eyeing opening additional locations outside of Strongsville, Ohio, to serve a bigger market.

“There are some providers who have repairs in their DNA, but for many others, it’s not easy to do,” he said. “There are so many costs—in addition to the labor, there’s inventory management, the parts, and the refunds and credits from manufacturers. Most of your multi-location companies have realized it’s an animal they don’t want to fight.”