New PHS CEO, inspired by patients, seeks innovation

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Friday, April 26, 2019

ROSEVILLE, Minn. – New CEO Cameo Zehnder has built an entire career at Pediatric Home Service, an independent pediatric homecare company based here.

She started out as a part-time customer service representative while she was still in college. Over the years, she’s held various sales and regulatory positions, and has also, after obtaining a law degree with encouragement from company founder Susan Wingert, served as general counsel.

Through it all, Zehnder has learned about everything from the nuances of payer policies, to compliance and accreditation requirements, to government relations.

Zehnder spoke with HME News about what makes her up to work every day.

HME News: You’ve built an entire career at PHS. What keeps you working there?

Cameo Zehnder: The passion and the inspiration that I find everywhere with our families. They inspire me and certainly everyone else every day with their advocacy and just the unending passion they have for making lives better for their own children, as well as all the children we know will come after them.

HME: What is the biggest challenge you face in the pediatric market?

Zehnder: Reminding people that children with medical complexities are not small adults. We have this constant battle of reminding people that the Medicare model—which doesn’t work for the HME industry, as a whole—is in complete opposition to the needs of children.

HME: PHS is heavily involved with the families and the clinical community. Why is that level of engagement so important as a provider?

Zehnder: Caring for these children is done at a community level that starts with the child and their family. Having that involvement is what allows us to stay nimble and what allows us to stay on top of being the most clinically advanced home pediatric provider.

HME: What are some of your goals as CEO?

Zehnder: We need to take a more innovative approach and really look to work with various partners in the community—in government and in the medical community—on how do we move away from this fee-for-service model and move toward something where providers are incentivized by the outcomes their patients experience, rather than the volume of products or services they provide.