Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Griffin Home Health Care updates business model

Already in business in the Charlotte area for more than three decades, the family-owned Griffin Home Health Care made some changes this year.

Richie Griffin, left, is COO of Griffin Sports,
Health and Wellness. William "Bill" Griffin, right,
founded Griffin Home Health Care, Inc.
In January, the company added a new division -- Griffin Sports, Health and Wellness, providing services that "encompass wellness and healthy living," says COO Richie Griffin.

The updated business model marks a change for the company, founded in 1983 by Richie's father, William (Bill) Griffin, who launched the business as a health care equipment and supply company. The business typically focused on providing products and services to assisted living centers, nursing facilities and hospices.

Griffin also reaches customers seeking health care products through its two retail locations -- in Charlotte at 4231 Monroe Road, and in Gastonia, at 2515 E. Ozark Ave. Bill's brother, Jim, manages the Gastonia store.

Charlotte location at 4231 Monroe Road
To boost its revenue stream in recent years, Griffin enrolled in Medicare's competitive bidding program. Under this bidding process for the government insurance program, suppliers submit bids to provide certain medical equipment, such as hospital beds, according to Medicare.gov. Winning bidders get contracts as exclusive suppliers of specific equipment.

It's a formula that guarantees business, but it can be restrictive, Bill says. For example, a previous company contract to provide oxygen meant that Griffin Home Health couldn’t provide walkers to patients at facilities.

Bill says that prompted a reassessment of their business model: "What can we do as an organization to stay vital?"

The answer was launching the new division to reach a different set of customers.

"We were missing a big chunk of your family," with the focus on geriatrics, Richie said. "We were missing the folks who were well."

Housed within the company's Charlotte location, the new division takes up one side of the retail store. There are shelves lined with "wellness" equipment, including braces, exercise equipment and products for pain management. The other side of the store features Griffin's traditional offerings of medical equipment and supplies -- walkers, therapeutic shoes, a demo hospital bed.

Richie says several factors make the wellness division different from other sports-themed stores. Customer service staff receives manufacturers' training to fit braces and other equipment. Because the company is affiliated with the medical community, Griffin gets doctors' referrals and can file insurance claims, Richie says.

To get word out about the new wellness division, Griffin Sports is sponsoring the Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association, and has participated in event such as last year's Thunder Road Marathon expo and the Greater Charlotte Health & Fitness Expo in January.

New offerings are being considered, too -- including selling nutritional supplements, and providing short-term rentals of rehab equipment, such as treadmills.

Says Richie: "This is a market or niche that hasn't been filled in the past."

Check out video of the Griffins explaining both sides of the family business:
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10 comments:

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