LENEXA, KS – In spite of, or even because of its inherent challenges, people with strong business acumen are not shying away from the HME industry. Lori Bultmann, general manager of Kansas-based Complete Medical Homecare Inc, is one of a growing number who sees opportunity in challenging times.
After a decade at a major national provider, Bultmann chose to come to Complete Medical, a one-location, 30,000-sq-ft fixture in the eastern Kansas community of Lenexa. After winning no contracts under competitive bidding, the company lost half of its patient base. “We had to lay off about 35% of our work force,” laments Bultmann, a Truman State University grad with a degree in Business. “Now we are looking at new commercial contracts and getting creative about staying in the business.”
Much of that creativity relies on new product lines, new payor contracts, and an increasing focus on the pharmacy side of the business. As for Medicare, Bultmann is hesitant to put any eggs in that basket. “It used to be that once you aged into Medicare you were golden, but that is not really the case anymore,” she says. “Now when you age into Medicare, you can’t find a provider who can provide services. Competitive bidding has led to fewer providers, and many smaller providers have been put out of business.”
As a member of AAHomecare, Bultmann remains cautiously optimistic about the organization’s recent efforts, saying that she is curious about what AAHomecare is up to on Capitol Hill. She hopes for the best, but is ready for anything, particularly as the competitive bidding rebid gets closer.
Managing the 55-employee company is admittedly a complex job, and when you add the challenges of parenting, it’s no wonder that Bultmann has little free time. “My children are involved in sports—softball, basketball, volleyball, and extracurricular activities,” she says. “We did have a boat, but now we just go with friends, and that’s better. I really don’t have any hobbies. There is no time!”