How was the demand for medical supplies in Miami-Dade in 2016?
The demographics in South Florida are compelling. Baby-boomers are aging, the population is living longer, and that translates to an increasing need for medical care and medical supplies. Demand continues to grow. We’re seeing mid to high single digit growth in our local economy. Nationally, access to quality medical care, products and services has been a bigger problem than it has been in Miami.
How do you address these challenges?
There is a major shift in the delivery of healthcare from traditional in-hospital care to alternative settings as patients start to exercise choice, and as insurance providers look to squeeze cost out of the system. Procedures are moving out of hospitals to surgery centers as more surgeries occur on an outpatient basis. Care is moving more to patient homes and physician offices and out of emergency rooms. The big move in the supply world for us is how to meet that challenge. In 2012, we acquired a company that focuses specifically on physician offices and surgery centers. We have a focus on investing in our e-commerce capabilities for all our clients. Supplies that normally would have only been consumed at a hospital or surgery-level are made publicly available to people accessing care in their homes with family members or other caregivers supporting the administration of those supplies.
What will be the main growth drivers in 2017?
There is no question that the move outside of hospital settings will continue. The question is what will happen to the access points that were provided through the Affordable Care Act. Will they go away? If they do, what will they be replaced with? Will care move backwards for those that are uninsured, will they no longer have access? These are the big questions for us. We’ve heard repeal, l and replace. Changing things rapidly is a relative term on the insurance bearer side.