GALLIPOLIS, OH – Five co-owners of Family Oxygen and Medical Equipment, Gallipolis, Ohio, attended this year’s AAHomecare Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. The journey was no small commitment for Dan Bowman, president/co-owner, and his four colleagues, but all five had reached a boiling point.
“We needed to get involved,” said the 57-year-old Bowman, co-owner since 2003. “We were getting sick and tired of sitting in the back seat and watching everybody else do something. This is our livelihood, and we needed to go to Washington, DC, and at least try to make an impact.”
About 75% of revenue at the company’s three Buckeye State locations in Gallipolis, Jackson, and Athens, is generated from Medicare. And while competitive bidding has not hit the business just yet, Bowman knows it’s just a matter of time. In Washington, the group shared its concerns with many aids, but also conducted face-to-face meetings with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Rep Bill Johnson (R-Ohio).
“We are on the fringes [of competitive bidding areas],” he says. “But we know that by 2016 we are going to have to bid, or they are going to give us those prices. We know our revenue will be slashed, so we are being proactive. At the AAHomecare fly-in, we spent all day running the halls. We went in conjunction with Cara Bachenheimer [senior vice president of Government Relations at Invacare] and Kam Yuricich [executive director of the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services].”
Bowman’s 30-year-old son and 28-year-old daughter both work at the business, and so far “Family Oxygen” has not turned into family feud. “We get along most of the time,” says Bowman with a chuckle. “We work a lot of hours, and we come in on weekends when it’s necessary.”