Respiratory Services hits ‘its prime’

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Friday, April 7, 2017

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Rochester may be only an hour away from its Buffalo headquarters, but it’s a “different world” for Respiratory Services of Western New York.

“Most of our referrals come out of hospitals in Rochester and in Buffalo it’s mostly out of doctors’ offices,” said co-owner Michael McCartney. “Our customer service has really taken it to the next level. We guarantee that we’ll set everybody up within an hour from when we get that call from the hospital.”

The provider opened its new location—its fourth—here in March, folding in its locations in LeRoy and Honeoye, which it acquired through its acquisition of Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies in 2014. Respiratory Services, which McCartney founded in 1997, offers a full line of durable medical and respiratory equipment and services.

McCartney says his commitment to customer service has set him apart in the HME industry.

“We all have the same equipment and we all get paid the same amount,’” he said. “Other companies are trying to cut corners and save costs. I invest in my employees—I want them to stick around and be the experts when people come into the store.”

Where McCartney prefers to save money is on creating greater efficiencies, including a non-delivery model for oxygen patients and a nearly paperless office, and negotiating for better pricing from manufacturers.

“I hate paper,” he said. “With technology, there’s less paper, we can confirm orders quicker and get paid sooner.”

McCartney also negotiates with manufacturers for better pricing and buys in bulk. All four locations have a retail showroom—including a 7,000-square-foot store housed in an old Blockbuster store that accepts no insurance—he is able to offer customers “every bell, whistle and color,” they could want, he says.

With twenty years under its belt, Respiratory Services has learned to adapt to changes. Five years ago, the company was 90% respiratory; today it’s 65%—70%. Medicare has been reduced to about 11%.

“I didn’t know anything about owning my own company,” said McCartney who was a 23-year-old respiratory therapist at the time. “I haven’t looked back since. I feel like I am hitting my prime right now.”