MIAMI – PediStat President Grizzy Miller, RN, says she knew that when she founded the company in 1990 that providing healthcare services to children would become more than a job—it would become her life.
Miller understood that being available all the time is just the nature of taking care of young patients, and 27 years later she still embraces that role.
“We are emotionally involved—we’re not a business, we are here to serve our patients with whatever they need,” said Miller, whose Miami-based company earned second runner-up honors in the HME Excellence Awards. “We’ve been around since 1990 and some of our patients have been with us all that time. Some of our employees have been here for 20 years. We’re still here, doing the same thing that we’ve always done.”
One of those employees, Alison Garfinkel, RN, says Miller’s passion is palpable and a big reason why the staff has shown so much loyalty over the years.
“She’s incredibly knowledgeable, compassionate and empathetic,” she said. “We are incredibly fortunate to work for her. We try to interact with our patients and referral sources by following her example.”
Serving a pediatric population not only means earning the young ones’ trust, but also forging strong relationships with their families. It requires honesty and clear communications with them, even if it involves telling them what they don’t want to hear, Miller says.
“We convey to them what is possible and don’t give them false expectations,” she said. “Sometimes we can’t give them what they want, but we maximize what they can get.”
PediStat’s payer mix is 95% Medicaid and though the program has been under federal scrutiny, the rates are fairly stable, which gives Miller a reliable revenue expectation. Over the past year, the company’s revenues rose 12%, which strengthened its financial health considerably.
The key to generating positive margins in such a labor-intensive, hard-scrabble market isn’t complicated, Miller said. It’s merely a matter of “being reliable to referral sources, earning the trust of your patients and do things the smart way, which means keeping one eye on the bottom line while keeping the other on servicing patients the same way you would want to be treated,” she said.