July 2011 – Hard Choices, Soft Options
The SleepWeaver® Advance Soft cloth CPAP mask design continues to build an audience by helping resellers become more competitive.
What would it take to convince non-compliant CPAP patients to give it one more try? Officials at Export, Pa-based Circadiance® believe success depends on offering something bold. As makers of the SleepWeaver® Advance Soft Cloth CPAP mask, they contend they have the product that can pique curiosity and spark one more effort. For cash-strapped DME companies and self-dispensing sleep labs, the renewed focus on existing patients can boost revenue and help the business become more competitive. David Groll, CEO of Circadiance®, calls it the “revenue recovery program” and it could be one way that businesses win back existing patients and gain “new” revenue that never panned out the first time around. “In some cases, 30% to 50% of patients set up by DMEs and self-dispensing labs end up non-compliant,” says Groll. “Those non-compliant patients are not in the resupply stream. The problem is that sleep labs and DMEs have not had a product to entice them back. If you approach a non-compliant patient and ask ‘would you like to try a different hard plastic mask?,’ for the most part patients will say, ‘No thank you.’” Offering a soft cloth CPAP mask often yields a different response, and gets that CPAP machine out of the bedroom closet. “Our product allows business to reactivate a large number of patients and get them back on CPAP,” says Groll. “Then you can sell replacement masks, tubing, and filters. This is new revenue from the existing patient database. “If even a minority of patients can be recovered, it represents a major impact on the bottom line,” continues Groll. “We have conducted trials on small populations of patients and have had success rates as high as 70% of patients who were contacted who regained compliance. Users already have the CPAP machine in the closet, so it’s a huge win to recover that patient revenue.”
Groll believes that new market realities make these efforts all but necessary. Fortunately, identifying non- compliant patients is easier these days thanks to paperless records. Meanwhile, automated resupply systems make it relatively simple to identify patients who are not active in the resupply program. A business can undergo revenue recovery without making changes to existing setup or resupply procedures. And this program does not even require the DME to invest in a CPAP machine. Circadiance® also works with labs and DMEs to provide mailer cards marked with customized information for mailing to non-compliant patients. “The long term goal is better compliance in the first place,” says Groll. “The obstacle we face is that businesses often don’t want to change. But they can offer an exciting and different product without changing their fundamental business model.”