J&B Medical Supply: Stephen Shaya, M.D., M.S., Medical Director

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Providing care to seniors is a rapidly growing sector of healthcare, and the desire of most seniors is to care for themselves at home for as long as possible. J&B Medical Supply, Inc., is a medical distribution company that has focused on allowing seniors to do just that — and to do it affordably.

Established in 1994, J&B Medical Supply has since become one of the fastest growing and most successful medical distribution companies in the world. The family-owned business sells one million items from nearly 900 manufacturers. J&B provides medical supplies to healthcare businesses, supplies to individuals, and even distributes pet medications. The company has also expanded its reach outside the United States with offices in the Middle East and work in Panama and Latin America.

“When we started, our focus was on business to business, things that go in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies,” said Medical Director Stephen Shaya. “About eight years ago, we began shipping products to homes. That is a growing market, and we made a business decision that that was our future.”

The company’s mission is to “provide its customers with the widest variety of medically related products with the highest level of quality and customer services at the most economical prices.”

Fitting into the healthcare landscape

Shaya said there are 77 million people over age 62, and they spend on average about $1000 a month in the products J&B Medical provides. The traditional model has a product traveling from the manufacturer to a distributor to the healthcare provider. The providers then supply the medical care and bill the insurance company. J&B Medical, Shaya said, has become a hybrid of distribution and fulfillment and provider.

“We brought our expertise combined with the ability to provide medical care telephonically,” he said. “Manufacturers would have to provide clinical and utilization management to go directly to the consumer, so they partner with companies like us.”

Traditional business customers may not be happy with the new model, but the customer base is consistently growing for the consumer side of the business. With healthcare expanding because of reform, more people are gaining medical coverage. J&B Medical’s model is based mostly on Medicaid, which has different reimbursement than Medicare.

The services and products J&B Medical offers are going to be a large part of healthcare in the future, Shaya asserts. Although specific requirements have yet to be defined, he said providers are more likely going to be responsible for keeping people out of hospitals. Caring for patients at home is less expensive than caring for them in a hospital or a long-term care facility. J&B Medical has proven results in quality, outcomes, and cost savings through its model.

“We have a program with Michigan’s Medicaid system that has saved Michigan $80 million over five years,” Shaya said. “We have also seen increased quality of care, improved outcomes, and even helped weed out some fraud and abuse in the system.”

Although the healthcare market is full of uncertainty, Shaya said it is still a time to thrive. However, thriving requires new ways of doing business, and quality should always be the top priority for any decisions.

“Quality drives demand,” Shaya said. “A lot of people are taking approaches to cut corners, but quality should always be at the forefront. It’s what differentiates healthcare from many other sectors.”

Driving technological innovation

J&B Medical has invested heavily in technology, particularly in technology that allows patients to be cared for at home in a high quality and more sustaining manner.

“This is an important time for innovation,” Shaya stated. “We have invested heavily in telemedicine and e-commerce.”

Shaya said telemedicine has been a buzzword in healthcare for years, but J&B Medical offers a cutting-edge telemedicine solution. J&B Medical is the parent company of Health Net Connect, Inc. (HNC), a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of telemedicine solutions, software, hardware, and remote patient monitoring. In the spring of 2011, HNC released the HNC VideoDoc™. The system allows healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients anywhere in the world and conduct real-time virtual house calls and virtual rounds. Based upon empirical research and data, HNC estimates it will reduce the rate of hospital re-admissions by nearly 70 percent.

The VideoDoc™ system monitors heart, lung, and blood functions for congestive heart failure, diabetic, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, as well as high-risk pregnancy and dermatology. Health Net Connect telemedicine products and solutions integrate patient vitals, including blood pressure, electrocardiogram, pulse oxymetry, weight/body mass index, blood glucose, and spirometry, plus diagnostic tools with HIPAA compliant video consultation.

“People are going to be living longer and staying in their homes longer,” Shaya said. “We feel our telemedicine solutions are cutting-edge and provide a solution that allows providers to really connect with people in their homes.”

With the future basing itself in working remotely with patients and customers, J&B Medical still puts a high value on building relationships with customers, businesses, and manufacturers. The company views these relationships as partnerships that help each business grow and save customers–not to mention the healthcare system–money. No matter what reform brings, Shaya said J&B Medical is prepared to be a strong force within the market.

For more information, HNC can be contacted directly at 855-2-VIDEODOC (855-284-3363), or visit them on the web at www.healthconnectlive.com.

-by Patricia Chaney

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