SYRACUSE, NY – After more than three decades in DME and complex rehab, John Komuda, ATP, remembers the good old days. But these days, the founder of Central New York (CNY) Medical Products is thankful for today’s technology, and what it does for patients.
“As far as the industry goes, it’s gotten much tougher,” says the 60-year-old Komuda. “Our profit margins have dropped dramatically. When you look at the swing our profit margins have taken, it’s about a 50% cut. We’re scraping now.”
Komuda has seen the benefits of DME and rehab technology firsthand with his patients, but also when his own father suffered a traumatic brain injury. “My sisters and I took care of him for 11 years,” he says. “And my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s the week after his accident. When we have customers that say, ‘You don’t know what it’s like,’ I can say, ‘Yes I do.’”
With no competitive bidding contracts won, the 16,000-sq-ft shop (that services 20 counties) now relies on Medicare for the complex rehab that it can still get paid on. “We do private insurance,” says Komuda. “The problem that we’re starting to see is a lot of these private insurance companies trying to follow Medicare competitive bidding pricing, which is not going to be easy to deal with.”
Despite his concerns, Komuda is optimistic, and hopes his memberships in AAHomecare, NCART, and NYMEP will pay dividends. “With AAHomecare, I think they’ve got a good strong base in Washington,” he muses. “They have a wide focus, and even though our specialty is complex rehab, we need to be tied in with them.”
Medtrade has long been a tradition for Komuda, but he admits he is partial to Medtrade Spring. “I like the Las Vegas one,” he says. “I know in the old days, everyone would go to Medtrade to see the product and negotiate deals and pricing. Now I feel that it’s more important to go for the educational seminars, and not as much the products, because if you cant get reimbursed, you’re not going to buy the products.”
When he really needs to get his mind off the difficulties of work, Komuda likes to spend Summer weekends in his cabin on the St. Lawrence River. “We’ve remodeled the cabin,” says the father of two and grandfather of three, “and I did most of the work.”