How to Start a Medical Oxygen Supply Company
Patients who struggle to keep their blood oxygen levels within acceptable ranges, normally due to long-term chronic pulmonary or other breathing-related diseases, are often prescribed medical oxygen in order to help them function. For patients in hospital, hospice or other constant-care situations, oxygen is managed by nurses and technicians.
For patients with a more independent home life, portable medical oxygen is key to allowing them access to their prescribed breathing air while maintaining flexibility. In either case, medical oxygen is incredibly important to the health industry, which means it can be a stable investment for a new oxygen cylinder business.
Medical-grade oxygen can be any concentration of oxygen above 85% and below a certain percent of impurities so that purity can be certified. What’s equally important is the chain of handling for oxygen canisters. The canisters must be cleaned to a specific standard to avoid contamination by toxins or other chemicals that aren’t meant for human consumption. You’ll need to review all of the regulations regarding oxygen supply and canister handling to make sure you’re meeting all of the standards.
Oxygen cylinders for medical use will have high pressure on them; tanks for individual, transportable use can have up to 3,000 PSI of pressure. Because of this, handlers need to be extra careful and observe all recommended safety protocol. When planning to transport your oxygen, be sure to make sure your car or truck can secure the tanks in a standing-up position where they can be protected from potential collisions.
Again, review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Department of Transportation standards for oxygen cylinder transportation and be sure you can meet those qualifications. These rules aren’t just for transport; they also explain the standards you’ll have to meet for storage and production as well.
Most insurance companies will cover medical oxygen when a doctor deems it necessary and writes a prescription. Medicare can help to cover the costs and has its own set of rules and standards for renting medical oxygen tanks and equipment.
You’ll want to look into the most popular insurance plans in your state and familiarize yourself with their coverage regarding medical oxygen. This can only make your life easier. Since insurance will normally be covering the majority of the cost, it’s important to know what forms you’ll have to fill out to get reimbursed.
When looking to start any kind of medical business, it’s important to make sure you also meet all of the licensing and permitting requirements. In some states, you’ll need to be licensed to sell specific medical equipment, so check the regulations and obtain whatever licenses are needed. You’ll also need permits from the local boards for the physical location of the business, and you’ll have to check your state’s incorporation laws to understand how to properly and legally start and register your new business.
You will need to understand the logistics of the medical oxygen supply business as well. Look into the equipment required to produce your own oxygen; there are a number of oxygen concentrators available on the market, and you’ll need to invest in one that will fit your goals. The oxygen supply business requires additional equipment such as flow meters, pressure gauges, oxygen masks, cannula and other pieces to fit the entire system together.
You’ll need to make a business plan to decide which pieces will be part of your supply business, which will also determine the kind of facility you’ll need. Just like any business venture, there’s a lot to learn from researching the market, the potential customer base and the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs.