A Great Journey

I enjoyed the January 2003 issue of HomeCare and the recognition that you gave to me personally for my industry participation over the last 25 years. It was a great journey for those of us who are now watching from the sidelines.

The chart on page 49, titled “Top Companies of 2002,” was a mystery to me. The footnote claims the rankings are in “Millions of revenues.” However, the numbers do not match the rankings. Lincare is the most profitable company in the industry, while Apria remains the firm with the greater revenues. Praxair is number three, but appears to have the greatest revenues.

Thanks again for a look back on a wonderful journey.
— Jerry Jones, chairman, Byram Healthcare Centers, Milford, Conn., and former CEO, Apria Healthcare

Editor's response: The Top Companies of 2002 chart on Page 49 of our January 2003 issue should have included a note specifying that the dollar amounts reflected net income, not revenue.

HMO Prostitution

Why is it any surprise that the government thinks it pays too much for services when our industry has prostituted itself to HMOs, all in the name of market share (“GAO Paints Grim Medicare Picture,” HomeCare Monday, Feb. 3, 2003)?

In 1990, I met a major HMO dealer who was excited about a new HMO contract his company had just landed. He admitted the profit margin on the contract was next to zero, but he was ecstatic about the increased market share. I asked him what he would do when Medicare finally got wise and demanded the same price discounts as the HMOs were getting. He said that would never happen. He believed Medicare wasn't that smart. I wonder what he's thinking now.
— Daniel F. Prose, president and CEO, Better Care Medical, Hopkins, Minn.

Working Together

Thank you for the very flattering profile (“On the Home Front,” January 2003). In it, I said that half of the membership in Homecare Providers Co-op supported the organization's political efforts. That is a fabulous number — 50 percent. If half the members of AAHomecare, the state associations and others would work together and support those organizations' political efforts, our industry will be able to continue providing the services we are known for and to flourish.
— Shelly Prial, partner, HPS Healthcare Management, Melbourne, Fla.

62% of people polled on HomeCare's Web site believe that 2003 will be more profitable for HME providers than 2002.

HomeCare welcomes letters from its readers. E-mail letters to Managing Editor Paula Patch at ppatch@primediabusiness.com.